STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Dharmarth Trust employees, who are on protest for the last 40 days and chain hunger strike for the last 13 days under the banner of Dharmarth Trust Employees Association (DTEA), on Saturday vowed to intensify its ongoing agitation if Government fails to listen to their demand to merge all temples falling under the Dharmarth Trust into the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
Those who sat on chain hunger strike today include Jagjit Chand, Dalbir Singh, Ajmar Singh, Swarn Singh, Raj Kumar, Surinder Kumar, Satpal Singh, Rita Sharma, Pinky Sharma and Renu Sharma. They asked the government to protect the Dogra culture, land and property of temples under Dharmarth Trust.
They sought intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in resolving various demands that they have raised including enhancement of their salaries.
Run by the erstwhile royal Dogra family, the trust was founded in 1846 by Maharaja Gulab Singh to maintain temples and other properties associated with them but all in depilated condition due to present trust management, they said.
“It is very unfortunate that the employees of the Dharmarth Trust are forced into the streets by the rigid attitude of the management which has failed to address their genuine issues,” they said.
They accused the trust management of taking up wrong policies and demanded a probe into the financial transactions.
“Majority of the employees are paid just Rs 6,000, while those who have completed 40 years of their services are paid Rs 9,000. Their families are suffering because of lower wages,” Working President Rajinder Shastri said.
“We shall continue our agitation till our demands will be met by the UT administration,” he asserted and said that in future association is going to highlight the all misdeeds of Dharmarth Trust management.
Among others present in the strike were President Vivek Bandral, Ex-President Kernail Chand Thakur, ex-General Secretary, Pritam Sharma, President Vivek Bandral, Sunit Sharma, Subash, Pt Parshotam, Pt Brijmohan Sharma, Pt Om Parkash, Pt Rampal, Pt Balwant Shastri, Vimal Khajuria, Sat Paul, Pawan, Deepu, Rinku, Makhnu, Jivan, Bushan, Sonali, Renu, Anju, Sheetal, Sonika, Sukeshni, Rita Salathia, Rekha, Harbans Lal, Surjeet Singh, Parshotam Sharma, Ram Paul Sharma, Jagjeet Chand, Sahil Sharma, Pt Babu Bishambar Lal, Reeta Salathia, Raj Kumari, Leela Devi, Sheetal, Rajani, Shobha, Nisha and Sonika.