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Unpaid staff sell belongings

Council employees sell household items at Haflong market. Picture by Samsul Alam

Haflong: Employees of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council are selling their personal belongings at Haflong market to make ends meet as they have not received salaries for the past year.

"We cannot pay our children's school fees. Some have to admit their children in school but they don't know how to acquire the money. So, we have no option left but to sell our belongings. We hope the people will help us by buying them," an employee said on Saturday.

Some children had bought their stationery items and toys to sell along with their parents. "I wanted to help my parents. So, I decided to sell my dolls, pencil box and clothes so we can get some money," said a six-year-old who had come with her father to the market.

A grade IV council employee allegedly committed suicide on May 30 over unpaid salaries. Prasanna Hasnu, president of the NC Hills Autonomous Council Employees' Union, resigned on November 23 over the same issue.

Salaries were paid regularly till September 2009 by diverting development funds. After the BJP-led state government banned the diversion of funds, payment of salaries became a problem. Sources said appointments without considering the financial implications had led to the crisis.

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