Guwahati: As soon as the lockdown was eased from Monday, State’s capital city Guwahati has started witnessing street protests staged by various organisations.
The NF Railway Mazdoor Union unfurled black flags wearing black badges at the NF Railway headquarter, Maligaon, in protest against the Centre’s decision to privatise railway train services, defence factories, coal, oil fields, mines and other public sector undertakings.
Union general secretary Rakhal Das Gupta said, ‘The railwaymen are working round the clock in all the seven days to carry the essential commodities to different destinations. We are also operating the Shramik Specials trains following the directives issued by the Ministry of Railways. But in reward, we are discouraged by the Centre’s attempt to privatise the train services.’
“We oppose the Centre’s attempt to privatise the public sector industries besides surrendering of various posts and non-filling up of the existing vacancies,” the union leader said.
Alleging that the government has been adopting unethical move taking advantage of the Covid-19, Gupta said, “When all are mentally disturbed due to the pandemic coronavirus, the Centre is busy in freezing the dearness allowance of the serving railwaymen and dearness relief of the pensioners. The decision of the government will badly tell upon the economic condition of railwaymen in addition to mental disturbance.”
Gupta added that after the protest, the union also forwarded a protest letter to the Union Finance Minister, Railway Minister, Cabinet Secretary, govt of India.
Called by the All India Railwaymen Federation, the union also observed a week-long awareness programme from June 1 to 6 to enlighten the union members about the Centre’s attempt to privatise their services.
At Sivasagar, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti jointly created a human chain to mark protest demanding immediate release of KMSS leaders Akhil Gogoi and three others – Bitu Sonowal, Dhaijya Konwar and Manash Konwar, who have been languishing in jail since December last year.
The All Assam Students Union’s Guwahati unit also staged a protest at Guwahati club demanding pure drinking water.