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Police detains protesting SBM employees

Srinagar, July 24: Police on Tuesday detained scores of Saakshar Bharat Mission (SBM) employees from the Education Department when they attempted to march in protest towards Raj Bhawan.

The protest was held, under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir SBM Employees Forum, against the delay in their regularisation.

The employees assembled in a park at Polo View and tried to march towards the governor’s official residence.

The police stopped the protesters and detained scores of them.

Riyaz-ul-Haq, one of the protesters, said that in J&K, nearly 6,000 youth were appointed on a contractual basis under the centrally-sponsored scheme implemented in 2011.

They were appointed as block and panchayat coordinators, he said.

Imran Ahmad, also a protester, added: “The scheme was introduced to enhance literacy in the state in the age group of 15 years and above. We worked very hard for it, even in the remotest areas of the state.”

They said they approached the government and higher officials of the department several times with their issues.

“Despite assurances, nothing happened. We are still without salaries. We appeal the governor to personally intervene and address all our genuine demands,” a protester said.