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Clerks strike, citizens suffer

Sidhgora resident Malti Murmu (40) had to return from the district collectorate on Tuesday without an ST certificate required to admit her daughter to a medical college in Cuttack, thanks to a statewide strike by clerical staff in demand for grade and wage revisions.

Malti was among many who suffered pangs of the statewide agitation called by Jharkhand Rajya Anusachiviya Karmachari Sangh, a forum of clerical grade staff at the district collectorate, sub-divisional and block offices.

Around 400 clerical grade staff in East Singhbhum went on strike from Tuesday morning to press for their yearlong demands. Nearly 100 employees also squatted near the collectorate as part of the stir.

Attendance on the collectorate premises, namely departments of registration, welfare, treasury, land revenue, district industry centre and Dhalbhum subdivisional office was negligible.

“We decided to launch the stir after getting frustrated with false assurances over the past year. We have submitted a list of demands to deputy commissioner. The agitation will continue till we get a positive response from the state,” said Navin Kumar, a functionary of the outfit.

Kumar added that work was hampered at block and subdivision offices too.

“We want the government to fulfil its promises of promoting us to the post of assistants, revising our wage structure and providing us medical, conveyance and education allowances,” added Navin.

The district administration admitted to the problems faced due to the strike, but expressed helplessness.

“Work has indeed been affected. But we are trying to make stop-gap arrangement from tomorrow. It is a state level issue and I cannot comment on their demands,” said East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal.