The blind hold sit-in on The MallArchive
LAHORE: Visually impaired and the disabled government employees on Monday once again blocked The Mall by staging a sit-in on it against the Punjab government for not fulfilling the commitments it had made to them regarding regularisation of their jobs.
It was the second major protest demonstration on The Mall by the special persons. They had staged a sit-in a couple of months ago as well when police used force against them.
The protesters, who had come along with their family members, including kids, were carrying placards and banners. They first gathered outside the Lahore Press Club where they raised slogans and criticised the government for not accepting their demands. One of the protesters also set his wheelchair on fire in protest against the ministers who had assured the special persons of regularisation of their jobs.
They later went to The Mall to hold a sit-in. Traffic came to a halt on The Mall and its arteries and police faced a tough time in diverting it to other city roads. There were scuffles and exchange of harsh words between the protesters and the motorcyclists who tried to use space on the roadside at Charing Cross to pass. No senior government official reached the spot to resolve the issue despite a daylong protest.
District Coordination Officer retired Captain Muhammad Usman termed the protesters’ demands unjustified, saying that it was not possible for the government to regularise services of daily-wage and contract employees in violation of the criteria and the rules.
He said the protesters were earlier asked to reapply against advertised jobs under the allocated quota but they did not do so. He said most of the protesters did not belong to Lahore.
The protest was going on when this report was filed at night.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2015
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