Sikkim: Protest over service extension on Gangtok street

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Gangtok, December 5, 2012:

Executive members of All Sikkim Educated Self-employed and Unemployed Association (ASESUA) Tuesday came out in the National Highway 31A here to public register their protests against the service extension policy and alleged illegal appointments in the State government sector.

The ASESUA protestors led by their president Navin Kiran Pradhan was stopped by police and East District administration near Titanic Park. Following nearly an hour long discussion with the authorities, the ASESUA team relented and peacefully dispersed after submitting a memorandum to East District Collectorate.

“We have been regularly submitting memorandums to the State government on illegal appointments and service extension given to retired bureaucrats. But the government is continuing with such practices and hence, we are compelled to come out in the streets”, said the ASESUA president.

Former Lok Sabha member Pahal Man Subba participated in the ASESUA protest which was also externally supported by representatives of political and apolitical parties. The ASESUA members shouted slogans against the service extension policy and alleged illegal government appointments in front the regular crowd going to MG Marg through Titanic Park.

“Today we just wanted to publicly record our protests and have submitted a memorandum to the East District Collector. If the government does not heed our demands within a month, we will not obey any rules and laws when the New Year begins”, said Pradhan.

The ASESUA has been, over the past few years, very critical of the State government giving service extension to some retiring bureaucrats. “Service extension is a crime against the unemployed youths as well as the younger employees of the government. This policy is not only hampering the youths but it also an unnecessary burden to the public exchequer.

If any service extension is necessitated, the extension holders should provide free service to the department without occupying the post”, said Pradhan. Another demand from the ASESUA was to put an end to the alleged ‘back door entry and illegal appointments’ in government sector. We demand the State government to immediately act upon our previous memorandums and quash all appointments made without any advertisements and interviews in violation of the Supreme Court judgement of 2006 regarding the Uma Devi case, he said.

The ASESUA is also demanding that a committee should be set up comprising of different organizations and political parties to study violation of Article 371 F of the Indian constitution. It also demanded that all fake and illegal domicile certificates should be cancelled and to take strong actions against those holding such certificates and the issuing authorities.

“The demonstrators wanted their memorandum to be forwarded to the chief secretary. The sub-divisional magistrate has collected it and handed it over to me. I will forward the memorandum to the chief secretary’s office”, said East District collector D Anandan. Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad (SHRP) president Dr AD Subba justified the demands raised by the ASESUA. We fully support their demands, he said. State BJP president Padam Chettri said the ASESUA was doing a commendable job by raising relevant issues and urged support from conscious citizens of Sikkim.

Advocate Hem Lall Bhandari, who also argued with the administration while supporting the ASESUA during the stand-off, said the extension policy should be stopped. If extension has to be given, then the government should give it to low level employees instead of senior bureaucrats, he said.

Courtesy: Sikkim Express



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