The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) employees were again greeted with water cannon bursts and tear gas shelling by police as they tried to enter the city’s red zone on Thursday.
USAID administrator Rajiv Shah, during his visit to Pakistan, launched the National Reading Programme (NRP) at the Government Girls Primary/Secondary School in Sultanabad.
NCHD employees held a rally near Bilawal House on March 27 to protest the government’s refusal to give them permanent jobs. They tried to march towards CM House again on April 2.
The employee action committee said that nearly 1,500 workers, including teachers and district programme managers, joined their colleagues on Thursday who have established a protest camp outside the Karachi Press Club for the last 17 days. Police detained five people, while two of them became unconscious after the scuffle. Police later released the employees.
Mohammad Daim Janwari, leader of the committee, told The Express Tribune that a set of documents, along with the group’s demands, has been sent to Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Faryal Talpur. “We’re still waiting for the government to respond.”
Bahadur Bhurgari, another leader of the committee, said that the employees were exercising their democratic right by protesting. “Educated people are being tortured, both physically and mentally.” He said that the government should implement the Supreme Court’s order to make the NCHD employees’ jobs permanent. “Federal minister Khursheed Shah had also promised us the same thing,” added Bhurgari.
The NCHD employees vowed that they would continue their protest until they received permanent jobs.
Civil Lines ASP Usman Bajwa said that the police were forced to use power when protesters tried to enter the red zone area. “We tried to convince the employees to go back to their camp. However, when they didn’t, then we peacefully dispersed them.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.