Jammu, December 23
Top BJP leaders today locked horns with Lt Governor Manoj Sinha over his statement that workers who are ‘sitting at home’ will not be paid.
During a protest by Kashmiri Pandit workers outside the BJP office in Jammu, top saffron party leaders including UT chief Ravinder Raina and former deputy CM Kevinder Gupta took a stand against the LG’s statement. The leaders said Kashmiri Pandit workers have genuine demands and the administration should listen to them.
As Pandit workers protested, Ravinder Raina and Kevinder Gupta came forward and demanded to speak about their demands.
Kevinder Gupta said, “It is wrong to give such notice (of salary) to the opinion of a few officials. Workers are marching for safety and security, not wages. BJP is always on the side of Kashmiri Pandits. I appeal to the government to restore normalcy in Kashmir and allow minority workers protesting in Jammu to return to the valley.
Since 2008, more than 5,000 KP youths have been provided jobs under the Prime Minister’s Special Recruitment Package. The workers have been protesting in Jammu since June, demanding evacuation from the Valley after a spate of targeted killings.
Gupta said Kashmiri Pandit staff have been working in the valley for more than a decade. “In the current situation where employees are being targeted by terrorists, they are insecure,” Gupta said.
Ravinder Raina urged the LG to listen to the grievances of Kashmiri Pandits and reserved class workers who have been protesting in Jammu for months.
Asked by a KP protester whether it would be possible to work in Kashmir in the current situation, Raina said, “It is not possible as the many killings have created fear (among workers).”