Taking a tough stand over the ongoing strike in the power department, the Rajasthan government terminated the services of 15 employees on probation and suspended another 73 staff on Wednesday.
The power department has lodged more than 30 cases against the agitating technical staff, the Rajasthan Electricity Technical Employee Association claimed. But a discom spokesperson has put the number of cases at “more than 15”. Another, 13 employees have been arrested.
Under the Rajasthan Electricity Technical Employee Association’s banner, hundreds of technical employees began their stir on Tuesday to demand a grade pay hike from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,400. There are around 36,000 technical employees in the state.
Chief secretary CS Rajan held a review meeting where it was decided that stern action will be taken again the agitating employees. The additional chief secretary home, the police chief and the principal secretary (energy) were present at the meeting.
On December 2, the government had banned strike at five power companies till May 31, 2016 under the Rajasthan Essential Services Maintenance Act (RESMA).
“We will take stern action against those interrupting the power supply. Prompt arrests will follow. Police cases will be lodged against those vandalizing grid sub-station and public property. It was also decided that those employees against whom cases were registered on Tuesday should be arrested,” Rajan said.
But Association president Prithiviraj Gurjar maintained that theirs was a “justified demand” taken after their plea fell on deaf ears. “The government has imposed RESMA, arrested eight employees, registered over 30 cases and suspended over 100 employees. We will continue the agitation till demands are met. There is a huge resentment among employees, especially on the imposing of RESMA,” he said.
Asserting his colleagues were observing a peaceful stir, Gurjar added that the association had given a notice of strike to the government on November 24. “There has been no communication from the government.”
Centre of Indian Trade Union state president Ravinder Shukla alleged that the Vasundhara Raje government imposed RESMA to suppress the strike of technical employees. “The government wants to create an atmosphere of terror and fear in state to crush the morale of the labourers. It should initiate a dialogue with the agitating employees to resolve the issue,” he said.