Home Guard volunteers in West Jaiñtia Hills district have reiterated payment of their pending wages unpaid since 2020 for Covid-19 duty.
About 112 home guard volunteers were deployed during the pandemic at Saphai, Raliang, Amlarem, Phramer, Ummulong and Jowai.
According to the volunteers, they had worked 280 days at Rs 550 per duty and the government has paid only 30 per cent of the wages. The volunteer were engaged from March 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
“We will be compelled to stage another protest if the government fails to pay our dues,” the volunteer said.
They said that the government has been denying them of their rights and a protest is the only way out to secure it. “This government does pay when there are protests. It seems that it (government) feigns ignorance and does not know its duty, when we continue to keep quiet,” the volunteers criticised.
It may be mentioned that the home guard volunteers had first raised their demand on December 15, 2021, which also led to a minor confrontation with the police, when they had tried to put the office of the Home Guards and Civil Defence office in Jowai, under lock and key.