Cuttack home guards stage dharna

Cuttack: More than 900 home guards of Cuttack district on Monday staged an indefinite dharna in front of their office here in protest against the alleged assault by police in Bhubaneswar last week and subsequent arrest of their leaders.

The agitators also pressed for fulfillment of their six-point charter of demands and release of their office-bearers who were arrested.

We will continue the dharna and boycott duties until our demands are fulfilled, district Homeguards Association President Sanjay Majhi said.

He said the demands of state home guards to reinstate the retrenched employees and increase their remuneration is pending for consideration for past several years.

Every time we launch a strike, the government assures that our demands would be looked into sincerely. But the government swiftly forgets, Majhi said.

Criticizing the "police assault" on home guards on March 23 in Bhubaneswar, Majhi said the "erring policemen" should understand that home guards are a major workforce in day-to-day police activities.

The state home Guards Association President Sanjay Kumar Behera was arrested along with five other state leaders.

They were taken into custody after police invited them for a discussion, Majhi said demanding all the leaders should be released immediately and all charges leveled against them dropped.