Lucknow: The protesting employees of Dial 112 ended their five-day agitation at the Kanshiram Eco Garden. The protesting women met former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his wife MP Dimple Yadav at their residence on Diwali night, November 12, before calling off their demonstration. The female employees were dropped off at their homes after the meeting.
Akhilesh Yadav assured the employees that his party would support them and try to get the FIR quashed. The employees returned to their homes after visiting the residence of Akhilesh-Dimple in Lucknow. The protest began on Monday November 6.
During the day, Pooja Shukla was taken into custody when she went to the protest site. She was stopped at the gate. Other people with her included Sunil Singh Sajan, Sharmila Mahajan, Munni Pal, Anita Shrivastava, and other workers of the Samajwadi Party.
The operation of the helpline 112 was disrupted after hundreds of female employees of UP 112 went on strike on 6th November, complaining that the new company, which has taken over the operations of the services from the erstwhile company Tech Mahindra, is not handing over the offer letters to them. Some allege that they have been issued an acceptance letter, which imposes certain stringent conditions pertaining to their employment.
Hundreds of employees of UP 112 demonstrated at their headquarters on Shaheed Path of Lucknow before being shifted to Kanshiram Eco Garden on Tuesday morning.
On 8th November, Chief spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party Rajendra Chaudhary said in a statement, "No official of the government or administration had the courtesy to even speak to the protestors; SP is in support of the protesting employee girls."
"We have left the protest venue; we have not given up on demands," said a women employee of Dial 112 to The Mooknayak. She added, "We were demanding to meet the Chief Minister, but the government was not listening to us, neither was the company responding to our pleas. It was only the Samajwadi Party and some opposition parties who stood by us. Pooja Shukla of the party was with us throughout the protest, so we decided to end the demonstration after meeting former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and MP Dimple Yadav."
The Mooknayak also spoke to Harshita Kashyap, one of the five employees against whom the FIR has been lodged. She said, "We have not called off the protest but have only left the protest venue at the insistence of former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. We continue to boycott the work until our demands are met and the FIR against us is withdrawn."
Explaining the reasons for leaving the venue, she said that the administration had snapped the power connection, and there was no light at the protest site. The police are coming to our homes and threatening our family members. The girls living on rent are apprehensive that they could be forced to vacate their rooms if the police come to their residence and harass the landlords. The policemen threatened my minor brother that they would pick him up; they have also placed my number on surveillance. They are behaving as if we are terrorists, whereas the fact is that we are just demanding our rights, and the authorities have beaten us with lathis, and we still bear the injury marks. Akhilesh ji has assured us that our issue will be raised in the Assembly, and we are thankful to him."
Harshita also denied the allegation that they have refused to meet the CM, saying, "The reality is that we have not been allowed to meet the CM despite making numerous pleas. We want the FIR against us withdrawn, and until the FIR against us is quashed, we will boycott the work."
Dial 112, an emergency response support system, is an umbrella service for Police (100), fire (101), health services (108), women's safety (1090). The operation of these helpline numbers is outsourced to private companies. On 3rd November, We Win took over the operations from Tech Mahindra.
On Wednesday, the police booked five identified and 200 unidentified female contractual workers from U.P. 112, alleging their involvement in rioting and blocking the passage. The Mooknayak accessed the letter written by the employees to the Chief Minister, where the employees made the following major demands:
• Increasing the in-hand salary to Rs 18,000/ P.M
• At least one week-off and four leaves throughout the month, against no such provision in the offer letter.
• Maternity leave for the employees, most of whom are married women.
• Withdrawal of the cases against the protesting employees.
• Don't harass the family members of the booked employees.