We will continue the strike, APNGOs tell High Court - The New Indian Express

We will continue the strike, APNGOs tell High Court

Published: 22nd September 2013 09:06 AM

Last Updated: 22nd September 2013 09:06 AM

The Seemandhra employees, who were on an indefinite strike protesting against the decision to bifurcate the state, on Saturday informed the High Court that they would continue the strike.

After recording the statements of the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association and Seemandhra Secretariat Forum, the division bench of the high court comprising chief justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and justice KC Bhanu decided to continue the arguments, which entered the sixth day after the petitioners V Ravi Kumar, an advocate, and T Danaiah, president of the All-India BC, OBC Party, filed public interest litigations seeking declaration of the ongoing strike by the APNGOs and Seemandhra Secretariat Forum as illegal.

When the matter came up for hearing, senior counsel A Satya Prasad, arguing for Seemandhra Secretariat Forum, said that his client has decided not to withdraw the strike on the ground that the Centre has failed to invite the agitating employees’ association for negotiations to clear the latter’s apprehensions on the contentious issue.      

Intervening, the chief justice said that if the employees have withdrawn the strike then the court would have given appropriate orders to protect their interests as was done in the case of doctors’ strike.

The senior counsel then said that the court cannot link the present issue with that of the doctors’ strike as the ongoing strike concerns  the entire population of Seemandhra region. The strike cannot be withdrawn without any negotiations with the Centre, he noted.

Justice Sengupta then asked the senior counsel CV Mohan Reddy, who is arguing for the APNGOs, to tell about the stand taken by his client.

Mohan Reddy after seeking the opinion of APNGOs president P Ashok Babu who is present in the court, submitted that the APNGOs have also decided to continue the strike.

Continuing his arguments for the second day, Satya Prasad pointed out that neither the state government nor the Centre have taken any steps to put an end to the stalemate though the strike is going on for the last 45 days. If the Central government was sincere enough to bifurcate the state then it would have commenced the negotiation process to clear the apprehensions.

He urged the court to use its discretionary powers by directing the Centre to commence the negotiation process in the larger interest of the people and put an end to the stalemate.

Another counsel C Ramachandra Raju, arguing for AP Revenue Services Employees’ Association, said that the action of political parties has resulted in public unrest in the state. People are exercising their sovereign power to protest against the decision to bifurcate the state. A massive public agitation is going on and the employees have joined the movement. Strike is not a matter of right, but it is more than that, he added.

The arguments will continue on Monday.

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