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25 Apr 2017

Ex-KLO men fast for permanent jobs

TT, Jalpaiguri, April 24: Fourteen former Kamtapur Liberation Organisation militants who have been working as contractual drivers in the district health departments of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar have launched an indefinite hunger strike demanding regularisation of their jobs.
The former KLO members started the protest in front of the office of the chief medical officer of health of Jalpaiguri this morning and said the strike would be withdrawn only after their demand was met.
"We have been working as contractual workers in the health department since 2004 and nothing has been done yet by the state government to make our jobs permanent. It is becoming difficult for us to run our families with a salary of Rs 8,500 a month. That is why we have launched an indefinite fast and want the state to make us permanent employees," Basanta Adhikary, a former KLO militant who hails from Alipurduar, said.
The demand came on a day when Mamata Banerjee was in Cooch Behar.
"We are facing acute financial problems in running our families. The number of ex-KLO members working as drivers in the health department has come down to 14 from 28," Shyamal Roy, another former KLO member, said.
According to the agitators, they had approached the health officials earlier but no steps have been taken yet.
"As the chief minister is on a visit to north Bengal, we hope our pleas will be heard," one of them said.
Jagannath Sarkar, the CMOH of Jalpaiguri, said. "We have already communicated their demand to senior officers of the health department and the district administration."
Rachna Bhagat, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, said she had sought a detailed report from the CMOH.

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