Employees, especially those working in the Darjeeling district collectorate and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), may not get their salaries for August owing to no work, no pay being implemented to rein in supporters of the Gorkhaland agitation.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha renewed its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland after the UPA government decided to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
And since then the Hills have remained shut.
To rein in the agitators, the state government had issued a “dies non” notice ordering all the employees to attend office or face consequences, including salary cuts.
“Employees have attended office hardly for a day or two this month. That money will be adjusted with their provident fund hence most will not get their pay cheques,” said Puneet Yadav, district magistrate of Darjeeling. There are around 200 permanent and 160 temporary staff working in the Darjeeling district collectorate.
Even GTA employees’ fate is hanging in balance.
“We have sent showcause notices to all the employees and have asked them to reply within the next seven days. If the employees cannot furnish valid reasons with supporting documents for their absence, their salaries will be deducted. This is not a rule alone for the Hills. This is applicable throughout the state,” said Ram Das Meena, principal secretary of GTA.
The GTA has a permanent workforce of around 3,600 and 6,000 temporary staff.
All eyes are trained on the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
The meeting will decide the fate of the ongoing bandh. Most feel that it will be difficult for the GJAC to open the educational institutes from September 13 amid the indefinite bandh.
“It is a difficult situation for us. While we cannot afford to defy the political diktat and go to work, the government cannot provide us with enough security so that we can go to work. Now, we have to bear the brunt,” said a local on condition of anonymity. After observing “Ghar Bhitra
Janta” (public indoors) and “Ghar bahira Janta” (public outdoors) programmes, the GJM called for “Bazar Ma
Janta” (public in the markets) on Monday to stock up food stuff for the indefinite bandh which is going to resume from Wednesday.
The GJM had announced a two-day bandh relaxation on Monday and Tuesday. Shops and ATMs witnessed serpentine queues from early in the morning.