“I will set myself on fire,” NYC President

Image Courtesy - The Tribune

Srinagar, October 6: The volunteers of the National Youth Corps (NYC) on Monday have given a 10-day ultimatum to the government to fulfill their demands.

The protesting volunteers, who are on a hunger strike for the last 35 days, threatened self-immolation if their demands were not met within the 10-day period.

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Asif Ali Bhat, State NYC president  said if the government fails to fulfill their demands within 10 days he would set himself on fire outside the residence of Education Minister Naeem Akhter.

“Our protest is a non-violent one. We have been protesting peacefully without harming anyone. The government seems to not care about us at all which is why we have now given 10 days to the government to fulfill our demands. If they still show no concern, I will burn myself outside the house of Education Minister,” Asif threatened.

The demands of the NYC protesters are implementation of a Cabinet order approved by former government, which promised of engaging NYC volunteers in J&K as contingent workers in schools.

The NYC president said that the health of many volunteers had deteriorated and five of them had been hospitalized after being in critical condition in the last 10 days.

“Our health is not concern for us as we have taken it up as a goal to reach a conclusion. Those in the government have only provided assurances or lip service. This 10-day ultimatum is our last resort to press for our demands. After that they would have to take out our funeral from here,” an angry Asif said.

The volunteers who have been protesting at Lal chowk had earlier celebrated Eid-ul-Azha with their parents at the same camp spot.

The NYC volunteers were recruited in 2010 under the National Service Volunteer scheme. Under the scheme, they were eligible to serve up to two years, but later the state government utilised them for other jobs on the same honorarium of Rs 2,500 per month.

Image Courtesy – The Tribune