The police on Saturday lathi-charged to disperse the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party activists, who were protesting against the appointment of the Kashmiri employees on the Udhampur-Katra railway line at the Chak Rakhwalan railway station in Udhampur.
In the incident, half-a-dozen persons, including JKNPP activists and cops, were injured. According to the JKNPP leaders, party activists under the leadership of local MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia, president Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, on Saturday held a peaceful protest at the Chak Rakhwalan railway station in Udhampur against the appointments of the youth from Kashmir and other parts of the state on the Katra railway track.
They added that when they were raising slogans demanding justice, some outsiders engaged as gangman on railway track started pelting of stones on the party workers. They also alleged that instead of taking action against the stone-pelters, the police resorted to cane charge and bursting of teargas shells on the party workers, who were peacefully protesting.
Condemning the police action on the peaceful protesters, Mankotia asked the administration and railway officials to immediately withdraw the deployment of Kashmiri employees on the track. He also expressed his displeasure over the railways' decision to employ railway staff even for Class IV jobs on the Udhampur-Katra rail line from the Kashmir Valley, ignoring the local youth.
He added that the people of Udhampur and Reasi districts have provided their land and money to see the day when the Udhampur-Katra rail link is operationalised, but the decision of the railways to appoint even the gangmen and the coolies from the Kashmir Valley is very disturbing, said the local MLA.
He added the party has also sent a memorandum to the railway minister apprising him of the locals' demands.