Angry over government apathy to pay them wages due for five years, four daily wagers of the public health engineering (PHE) department tried to immolate themselves in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, prompting police to detain them on Thursday.
A video of the incident has gone viral on social media, drawing criticism for the state administration.
Four daily wagers entered the office of the PHE executive engineer in Kathua and demanded their wages be paid to them as promised by the engineer last week.
The executive engineer, S Singh, told them that their dues are pending and he is trying to address the the issue, but only assurance made the daily wagers angry and they poured oil on themselves and tried to immolate themselves.
However, officials prevented them for doing so. Later police detained the daily wagers.
The daily wagers, along with their families including women and children, have been sitting on a chain hunger strike since September last year at the PHE office.
The president of their association, Narayan Singh, said they are fighting for ten months for payment of salaries due for five years and permanent status.
“But the government did not pay attention to solve their grievances. So the association is left with no option but to launch fast unto death strike to seek justice,” he warned.
He said two workers have been sent to hospital after their health deteriorated and another are continue the hunger strike in their place.