Around 250 employees of the Attapadi Hill Area Development Society (AHADS) staged a sit-in, in front of the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) office in Agali on Monday, to protest against the government’s decision to disband the society. A Government Order issued on Saturday had paved the way for the winding up of the AHADS project.
In protest against this, 250 employees of AHADS had decided to stage a demonstration and present a memorandum to Education Minister Abdu Rabb during the inauguration of the Government College.
The protest was jointly organised by the tribal employees of AHADS, the People’s Welfare Society, the INTUC and the CITU.
However, the police blocked the protestors in front of the ITDP office premises, stating that only five representatives of the protestors will be permitted to meet the minister. The protestors disagreed to this and staged a sit-in on the road.
The major demands of the protestors included the restoration of AHADS, handing over of the development works of Attapadi region to Janakeeya Samithis, the entrusting of the tribal committees, the construction of 5,000 houses and also the implementation of the agricultural package, which has been sanctioned, and the payment of three months’ salary to the staff, which has been withheld.
The marchers were led by the vice-president of the AHADS tribal employees and People’s Welfare Society Pazhaniswamy, Shibu Cyriac of INTUC and Radhakrishnan of CITU.
M B Rajesh MP and District Collector Ali Asghar Pasha, who were travelling on that route, met the agitators and promised that the matter will be taken up with the government.