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Youths fast for govt job call

Malda, Jan. 3: Around 30 youths have been on a hunger strike in front of the Malda district magistrate’s office since yesterday, demanding immediate appointment as Group D staff because they had waited for eight months after giving interviews.

The protesters said they would fast to death if the list of successful candidates was not declared for the 93 seats. They said the interviews were conducted eight months ago but the district administration has not issued appointment letters to the selected candidates.

The recruitment for the Group-D panchayat department job is to happen locally.

“In 2009, an advertisement was published in newspapers where the administration sought applications for Group D staff in the panchayat department,” Shyamal Mondal, one of the protesters said.

“We filled up the forms and in July 2010, around 29,000 youths appeared for the exams, the results of which were published in 2011. Six hundred and sixteen candidates qualified and appeared for an interview conducted between April 17 and 28, 2012,” he said.

“On December 6, we met the district panchayat and rural development officer who told us that the file is with the district magistrate. On December 19, we met the additional district magistrate who said the same thing. On December 26, we submitted a memorandum to DM Archana. She told us that the panchayat department is looking into the issue,” Shahjahan Sheikh, another protester, said.

They also met state ministers Sabitri Mitra and Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury.

“With the administration and the ministers turning a deaf ear to our request, we are left with no option but to launch an indefinite hunger strike,” Afzal Sheikh, an aspirant, said. “Till the appointment letters are issued, we will continue the strike.”

DM Archana said: “The district panchayat and rural development department is looking into the issue. I do not have much to do in this regard.”

Trinamul minister Choudhury, however, has raised corruption charges against a Congress zilla parishad member. “The protesters had paid money for the jobs. The matter has been referred to the chief minister. A Congress zilla parishad member is involved and he had taken Rs 2 to 3 lakh from each candidate,” he said.

Zilla parishad member Mostaq Alam said: “The allegation does not hold ground. We have repeatedly requested the DM to approve the recruitments but she has kept the file with her, depriving 93 youths.”