GP staff begin protest for pay hike

Yet another protest, against graft in Bagepalli TMC, continues for the 3rd day

In large numbers: Maruthi, leader of the CITU Gram Panchayat Employees’ Union, speaks at the indefinite strike started by the members in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Chikkaballapur on Wednesday.DH photo

The protesters undertook an eight-km procession from the Travellers' Bungalow till the Deputy Commissioner's office, warning that they would not withdraw at any cost, till their demands were fulfilled.

The government has already fixed minimum wages for bill collectors, watermen and wiremen, yet the chief executive officer of the Zilla Panchayat has not ensured the orders are implemented, they alleged.

Union leader Maruthi, who spoke on the occasion, said the CEO, executive officers and gram panchayat development officers are disregarding the gram panchayat staff. “They are not responding to the problems of the employees, leading to further problems,” he alleged.

“We shall continue our strike till our demands are met. Members of the gram panchayats in the six taluks of the district have participated in the protest, which will only be intensified in the days to come,” he warned.

Union leaders B N Munikrishnappa, Siddagangappa, Krishnappa, Sudhakar, A L Narasimhamurthy, Sudarshan and others were present.

Bagepalli

The members of the Public Properties Protection Forum continued their protest against encroachments of the Town Municipal Council (TMC) park for the third day on Wednesday.

The Assistant Commissioner met the protesters on Tuesday evening outside the TMC and listened to their complaints. The protesters demanded comprehensive investigation of the irregularities in the Council and encroachments of the park as well as of the income given at a rate of 18 and 22 per cents.

The Assistant Commissioner said he was speaking under instructions by the Deputy Commissioner (DC). He assured the protesters that the matter would be discussed with the DC if information regarding the irregularities in the TMC was provided.

The protesters, however, warned that they would continue their protest till the DC arrived.

B V Venkataramana, convenor of the Dalita Sangharsha Samiti, alleged that the TMC members had registered major plots in the town in their own names as wells as in the names of their relatives. “Many officers too have joined hands with the TMC members in such irregularities. Although development of each ward has been granted Rs 30-40 lakh, no ward has been developed.”

Gudibande tahsildar Satish Kumar too arrived at the spot and listened to the complaints of the protesters. “The Deputy Commissioner has called a meeting of the Forum office-bearers on Wednesday evening. She has assured that the problems will be discussed in the meeting,” he told the protesters.

The office-bearers of the Forum then left for Chikkaballapur to attend the meeting with the DC.

Police security, led by Circle Inspector Shrinivas Murthy, was provided at the protest spot.
Dalita Sangharsha Samiti taluk coordinating officer Lakshminarasimhappa, Ravikumar, Kotappa, Gopi, farmer's union president Lakshminarayana Reddy, secretary Khaji Saab and others participated in the protest.

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