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Strikers try to garner support

Staff Reporter
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House visits planned; Left feeder forums will be roped in

Heated up:Government employees and teachers on strike taking out a march through Kollam city on Friday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar
Heated up:Government employees and teachers on strike taking out a march through Kollam city on Friday.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar

The ongoing strike by pro-Left government employees and teachers will be intensified from Monday, after the two holidays on second Saturday and Sunday, the ‘Samara Samithi’ leaders have said. The decision was taken at the State level by Left parties on Thursday.

Feeder organisations of the Left parties, including the DYFI, would be roped in to strengthen the agitation. Leaders of the samithi and the feeder organisations would visit the houses of employees and teachers in the district on Saturday and Sunday to convince them about the need to join the strike and ensure its success.

The leaders said that a Kudumbasree model agitation was also being planned. This agitation, to be led by DYFI activists, would commence at the Secretariat next week. Similar agitations at the district and taluk levels would follow.

The aim was to lay siege to the Secretariat, district-level civil stations, and taluk-level mini civil stations, and to bring the operation of these offices to a standstill, the leaders said. Entry of employees to the offices would be blocked. Striking activists of the service and teachers organisations would court arrest from Monday.

Cases of assault

The fourth day of the agitation on Friday was marked by violence at several places in the district. Shiyad Khan, a history teacher of Government Higher Secondary School, Kadakkal, who reported for duty was beaten up allegedly by a group of CPI(M) activists. Mr. Khan who sustained injuries on the face has been hospitalised. Strike supporters threw cow dung at those who had reported for duty at the Kallada Irrigation Project’s section office at Sasthamcotta on Friday.

At Kottarakara, a leader of the NGO Association, Rajendran, who reported for duty, was attacked, following which Youth Congress activists blocked the Kollam-Thirumangalam National Highway for over 30 minutes in protest. Two employees, including a woman, who reported for duty at government offices in Kottarakara were injured in attacks by strike supporters.

Effigy

All India Youth Federation and All India Students’ Federation activists marched to the civil station complex in support of the strike and burnt the Chief Minister in effigy. The police intervened when they tried to prevent employees from entering the complex and report for duty. This led to a scuffle with the police. The district administration also said the attendance rose to 77 per cent in the district on Friday. Out of the 222 employees at the civil station, 151 reported for duty; of the 72 employees at the District Treasury, 34 reported for duty.

Employees had also reported in strength for duty at the various taluk offices in the district.

But the samithi leaders said that the district administration was provided inflated figures on the attendance. NGO Union leaders said that more employees had started joining the strike and the government was using the police to slap bogus cases on the striking employees to weaken the agitation.

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