Patwaris ask govt to ‘come clean’ on their demands, continue with strike

Srinagar, May 31: Two days after their meeting with government, Patwaris (revenue officials) on Thursday demanded government to give assurances made to them in “black and white” even as their strike continued on the seventeenth day.
Under the banner of the All Jammu and Kashmir Patwari Association (AJKPA), the Patwaris also announced to continue with the strike unless the government gives incomes clean on their demand.
“Government called us for a meeting two days ago. It was a good meeting and attitude of Altaf sahib (Finance minister Altaf Bukhari) was good. But he could not conclude the meeting,” said a representative of the Patwaris, adding, “(the minister) said it will take time and gave a time frame. We said we are ready for it and give us in writing in black and white.”
He said from last seventeen days, their colleagues in Jammu are sitting on a sit-in in sweltering heat and that too in Ramazan.
“We have been hearing verbal assurances from last three years. We wanted minutes of the meeting to be provided to us in black and white. Altaf sahib (FM) refused, thereby forcing us to continue with the strike and protest,” he said, adding, “The government has to come clean on our demands and give in black and white so that we will end strike and resume work.”
Working of the Revenue Department has been severely affected due to strike by Patwaris from last 17 days.
The Patwaris have been staging the demonstration inside the premises of Deputy Commissioner’s Office and Jammu every day.
The protesting revenue officials said that government shall fulfil their genuine demands without any further delay. Their demands include grade pay of Rs 2800 for graduate Patwaries, timely departmental promotion committee of Patwaries and GQs, the creation of GQ circle & Patwar Halqas, ban on direct recruitment of Naib Tehsildars, enhancement of allowances for Patwaries & GQs, rent for Patwar Khanna and meeting halls for Patwar association. (GNS)