Give us in writing that you won't sack us: Home guards tell the Uttar Pradesh government
After 25,000 home guards posted across UP were sacked, Chetan Chauhan, the UP cabinet minister, home guard department, assured them on Wednesday and said: "No home guard would be sacked." But this was not enough
Ranvijay Singh 16 Oct 2019 12:30 PM GMT
On Tuesday, ahead of Diwali, around 25,000 home guards posted across Uttar Pradesh found themselves out of work. After the matter was highlighted in the media, Chetan Chauhan, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister, home guard department, assured them on Wednesday and said: "No home guard would be sacked, not even under dire circumstances." However, the Home Guards Association has asked the government to give this in writing.
The Home Department had deployed the 25,000 home guards around a year back to fill up the vacancies in the Police Department.
The home guards would earlier get a daily allowance of around Rs 500, which was raised to Rs 672 on the Supreme Court's orders. This is said to have added to Uttar Pradesh Police's budgetary constraints. Home guards do not have any fixed monthly salary and are paid based on the number of days of duty.
Under the banner of Uttar Pradesh Home Guards Unpaid Officers and Employees Association, dozens of home guards reached the district headquarters on Tuesday and demonstrated. Talking about the assurance given by the government, its president, Ramendra Yadav, said: "They just say. They don't do what they say. If they are serious about not terminating their service, they should issue a letter. We would believe them then."
Yadav added: "It's not just about these 25,000 home guards. Luckily, their plight got highlighted. Around 41,519 home guards are likely to get affected. A decision was taken in October 2019, in which it was decided to terminate the duty of 16,519 home guards. They were working for the home guard department. On October 11, the government decided to terminate the duties of 25,000 home guards working for the police department. Around 42,000 home guards have lost their jobs so far."
According to Yadav, there are 87,000 home guards in the state. After the government took these two decisions, half of them are set to be unemployed.
More home guards are likely to lose regular employment, as the state government has cut the number of days they are required to report for duty from 25 to 15 days.
Earlier, the home guard department minister Chetan Chauhan had tweeted: "It's true that no guard from Uttar Pradesh is going to be sacked, not even under the worst situation. When we talk about duty timings, it depends on the state and its requirements. Their duties are decided depending on the needs of various departments."
Countering this, Ramendra Yadav said: "The actual issue is about duty hours and not that their services were terminated. They are supposed to get paid depending on the number of days they report to the duty. They don't have a fixed salary. The two decisions taken by the government have affected us. If we report to the duty and if we don't have any work, then what's the point. Our demand is that we should get work and that too regularly."
Awadhesh Kumar, a Lucknow-based home guard, said: "Assurances are not enough. We need in writing, just like the decision to terminate my duty was given to me in writing. After I got that letter, my wife and kids are worried."
Jaunpur-based home guard Om Tiwari insisted we called him unemployed. He said: "When Samajwadi Party was in power, through governor Ram Naik, we had requested the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to make home guards permanent. However, no one acted on that. Now that the BJP is in power, they should do at least this much."
Mahesh Kumar Pandey, who is from Gonda district, said: "We have three demands. First, we should be given 100% duty, second, we should get minimum wages, as much as what police constables get. Our third demand is that along with our daily wages, the training allowance should also go up. Now we have an added demand. The sacked home guards should be reinstated."
He added: "You have no idea how pathetic our situation is. The government spent so much money during the Kumbh mela, but they still haven't given us our wages."
Summing up, Ayodhya-based home guard Luv Kush Chorasiya, said: "The minister is saying they are not sacking us. We would continue to be home guards, but we won't be assigned any duties. In that case, we won't get any salary. What sense does this make?"