BHOPAL: Police on Thursday allegedly resorted to lathi charge on Covid-19 health workers who demanding their regularization have been staging protest at Neelam Park for last two days. The protesters claimed that 30 protesters, including two pregnant women, were injured in police cane-charge and hundreds of demonstrators were jailed, a claim denied by the administration.
The authorities said that police vacated the venue without using any force and around 30 people were detailed for resisting police action.
Confrontation took ugly turn after the police tried to remove demonstrators forcefully from Neelam Park on the grounds that they were given permission to hold demonstrations till December 2 and that from Dec 3, the venue was allotted to gas victims for their demonstration. However, when the health workers refused to budge, the police used mild force to make them leave.
Yogesh Raghvanshi, one of corona health workers, said, “We were peacefully demonstrating as we were given permission to remain on premises till 4:00 pm today. But police resorted to lathi charge around 3:00 pm. Nearly 30 colleagues including two pregnant women, were injured and hundred were jailed.” Police said initially they asked the corona health workers to vacate the Park and if they want to continue they would need fresh permission from the authorities, however, the protestors remained adamant. We however managed to vacate the park, said police. Jahangirabad Teshsildar Devendra Chaudhary too clarified, “No lathi-charge took place at the venue. Health workers were removed from Neelam Park and around 30-35 demonstrators have been jailed.”
The protesters said that they were appointed on a three-month contract initially by National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The contact was extended till November and now their services have been discontinued.
Over 6000 health workers were appointed on contract basis. Doctors were retained but other staff like nurses (male and female), technicians and others have been shown the exit door as their contract expired on November 30.
The health workers tried hard to meet the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however, they were never given an appointment. They have already approached the health minister Dr Prabhuram Chaudhary and apprised him of their woes.
Govt raining lathis on corona warriors: Kamal Nath
Former chief minister Kamal Nath said, “Corona warriors are being felicitated all over the world as they gave yeoman service during pandemic risking their own lives. But, Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government is raining lathis on the corona health workers who were voicing their genuine demand. Instead of considering their demands, the government rained lathis, and this cannot be justified.”