Release our salaries, don’t force us to return to Kashmir: Pandit employees to Govt

Rubon Saproo, president of All Migrant Displaced Employees Association Kashmir, said that the government should not attach any conditions on the release of their pending salaries.

Published: 16th February 2023 02:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2023 02:55 PM   |  A+A-

Kashmiri Pandit employees shout slogans during a protest march over the killing of Rahul Bhat and other demands, at Lal Chowk in Srinagar

Representational image of Kashmiri Pandit employees. (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The striking PM package Pandit employees have asked the government to release their pending salaries in view of the festival of Maha Shivratri. They have also requested to not force them to return to Kashmir due to security concerns.

“Our salaries have been withheld for the last few months. The government should release our pending salaries on Maha Shivratri,” said Rubon Saproo, president of All Migrant Displaced Employees Association Kashmir.

The Maha Shivratri will be observed on February 18.

The administration recently directed officials to release the salary of the PM package Pandit employees, who have resumed their duties in Valley.

Saproo said the government should not attach any conditions on the release of their pending salaries. “The administration should ensure that all PM package employees get their salaries so that they can celebrate Maha Shivrati as per their cultural and religious traditions.”

About 5000 PM package Pandit employees had gone on strike since May 12 last year after the killing of a Pandit employee Rahul Bhat by militants at his office in central Kashmir. Most of the PM package employees left the Valley after the killing and are staging near-daily protests in Jammu. However, many of them have returned to the Valley to resume their duties.

The Pandit employees had planned a protest demonstration at Press Club, Jammu yesterday but the administration imposed Section 144 around the area to foil protests.  

Later, the Pandit employees held a protest near the BJP office in Jammu.

“The government should release our salaries. It should not force us to resume our duties in the Valley. We don’t feel secure in Kashmir due to continued target killings,” said Saproo.

He urged the government to come up with a proper plan for the safety, security and rehabilitation of Pandit employees.  

Saproo further added, “We don’t want to serve in the Valley due to security concerns and the government should relocate us to Jammu temporarily. They can attach us with the Relief and Rehabilitation office in Jammu.”

The striking PM package employees are demanding relocation to Jammu in view of targeted killings by militants in Valley last year.


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