More than 400 village assistants working in the Revenue Department of Uttara Kannada district staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Karwar on Saturday demanding that they be considered as Grade ‘D' employees.

The district coordination committee of village assistants submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner in support of their demand.

The dharna was preceded by a protest march. They alleged that more than 10,450 village assistants were working in the Revenue Department for the past 33 years, but they were never considered Grade ‘D' employees. Several memorandums to the government had not yielded any result, they said.

In 2007, the government confirmed the services of village accountants, but the salary was not revised. They were also denied facilities being given to other government employees, they said.

Demanding that the village assistants be paid Rs. 4,800 to Rs. 7,275 per month with a retirement bonus of Rs. 1 lakh.

They also sought pension to retired employees. The government should provide jobs to family members of village assistants who died while in service, the committee demanded.

Gopalakrishna Jogi, district president of the coordination committee, Vinayak Shetty, district vice-president, Narayan Kalal secretary, Devendra G. Naik, secretary, Saleem M., and Harishchandra Patgar were present.

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