Telangana employees launch protest for separate state

August 9th, 2011 - 12:01 am ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Aug 8 (IANS) Government employees in Telangana Monday launched protests ahead of their indefinite strike from Aug 17, demanding a separate Telangana state.

The employees began “work to rule” protest, by refusing to work beyond 5 p.m. and also held lunch-hour demonstrations, as a prelude to the strike.

Raising slogans of “Jai Telangana”, the employees gathered in the premises of various government offices in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.

Telangana employees’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) is demanding the central government to table a bill in the Parliament during the ongoing session for separate statehood to the region.

JAC leaders have vowed to go ahead with their strike plans despite the government invoking provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), banning strike for six months in several key departments.

JAC, comprising several unions of employees, is also boycotting the talks with the government. It has set the precondition that the government withdraw ESMA orders and call back police forces deployed in the government offices.

The government move to use ESMA came under sharp criticism from the leaders of ruling Congress party from Telangana. Senior leader and Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao told reporters Monday that without approval from the cabinet, the chief minister can’t use ESMA against employees.

Meanwhile, political JAC convenor M. Kodandaram said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram would be responsible for the consequences of the employees’ strike.

In another development, doctors of government-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad Monday launched hunger strike in support of the proposed strike by the employees.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao visited the hospital and called on the doctors in the evening. He alleged that grave injustice was being done to Telangana in the appointment of doctors in the government hospitals in the region.

Rao called upon public representatives of all the parties in Telangana to once again tender their resignations to put pressure on the centre to carve out a separate state.

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