Kargil Porters demand employment

JAMMU: A number of ex-porters, enrolled by Army during ‘Operation Vijay' in June 1999 and later retrenched in October after four to five months of engagement, staged a protest here on Monday, seeking employment from Central Government and Army.

The ex-porters from various far flung areas of Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Udhampur, Samba, Kathua and Pathankot, under J&K Army Porters Union, assembled at the Exhibition Ground near Press Club to express resentment against the Government's apathy for having used them when required, and later throwing them in dustbin. We have submitted a number of requests and reminders to various authorities, highlighting our grievances, but nothing has been done till date, the protesters added.

Members of J&K Army Porters Union further said that during Kargil war, Army appointed over 5000 people from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to help them (army). "We were young when Army appointed us on the promise of providing regular jobs," they said, adding that after war they were disengaged and ordered to go back to their respective native places with certificates and verbal assurance of giving preference in army recruitment and other government jobs. "We feel proud to be a part of war winning troops and don't want a conflict with defence forces, but if our genuine demands are not met, we will take extreme steps, responsibility of which will be on government," they threatened.


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