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Lockout threat on varsity today

Over 900 Grade III and IV employees of Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) under the banner of Jharkhand Karmachari Morcha on Thursday warned that they would force a complete lockout of the university from Friday unless their nine-point charter of demands, including payment of wage arrears, were met

“We will not allow BAU and its offices to function, starting from tomorrow (Friday). No cars belonging to the vice chancellor (V-C), deans of various faculties and other officials will be allowed to run on campus,” Jharkhand Karmachari Morcha spokesperson Nagendra Singh said during their sit-in dharna at the university due to which classes remained suspended.

The threat came on a day when a five-member BAU delegation led by V-C M.P. Pandey met governor Syed Ahmed, who is also the chancellor of state varsities, at Raj Bhavan and apprised him about the employees’ demands.

Following the meeting, the BAU authorities appealed to the Morcha to call off their agitation, saying that they would grant employment to the next of kin of deceased workers. Besides, all superannuation dues would be cleared within seven days of retirement.

However, demands like assured promotion, payment of wage arrears and enhancement in amount of medical advance cannot be met without prior sanction of the state government, the authorities said.

BAU insiders pointed out that Pandey had requested Ahmed for a special financial assistance of Rs 59 crore to pay wage arrears.

But the employees refused to call off their agitation.