Anti-poaching watchers observe a fast

More than 550 anti-poaching watchers (APW) from various parts of the State observed an eight-hour fast near Sivananda Colony here on Friday condemning the direct recruitment for the post of Forest Watchers.

The demonstration was organised by the Anti-Poaching Watchers and Other Workers Association. According to M. Praveenkumar, state general secretary of the Association, the hunger strike was held between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Mr. Praveenkumar said that the primary demand of the protest was withdrawal of the direct recruitment process for the post of Forest Watchers, which was announced by the State government earlier this year. “The Forest Watchers were selected from APWs on a seniority basis until now,” he said, noting that APWs and social forest workers were employed by the Forest Department on a contract basis with consolidated salary.

In 2010, the State Government regularised the services of 137 APWs and seven more were subsequently regularised. However, the remaining personnel did not get any such benefits or promotions, according to Mr. Praveenkumar. In this situation, the announcement of direct recruitment for Forest Watchers will affect nearly 1,119 APWs across Tamil Nadu, he claimed.

Following the fast, the Association called for a continuous boycott of work by the APWs in the respective forest ranges starting July 20 (Saturday), Mr. Praveenkumar said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 9:50:11 PM |

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