Pro-Kannada activists continue stir over railway recruitments

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Bangalore, Jan 6 (UNI) Pro-Kannada organisations continued their protest against 'denial of jobs to Kannada speaking people' in the Railways as more than 100 people were arrested in the Hubli and the city today.

The protesters, who had been on agitational path since the recruitment process to appoint Group D workers in South Westren Railway began in the city, Mysore and Hubli four day's ago. The protests turned violent when they destroyed office equipment at the Contonment Railway station premises in the city when some candidates came for the typing test.

The protesters alleged that the locals were being sidelined and North Indians, mostly candidates from Bihar, were being given preference in the selection of the posts.

Meanwhile BJP leader and former union minister Sarojini Mahishi today expressed concern over the happenings in the railways over recruitment of Group D employees.

Speaking at Hubli she said she would meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to register the protest of the people of Karnataka. She demanded suspension of the ongoing recruitment tests, to appoint thousands of employees, with immediate effect.

After participating in the discussions with SWR zone general manager Praveen Kumar and pro-Kannada leaders, she said the demand of Karnataka people for recruitment of 50 per sent Kannadigas in the vacancies was a 'just demand'.

"I will meet the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister and take up the issue. It is condemnable that special coaches are being provided to bring candidates from Bihar to Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli. Injustice to Kannadigas in Railway recruitment is being meted since 1992," she said.

Ms Mahishi regretted that the elected governments in the state had done little towards implementing the report submitted by the committee headed by her, recommending reservation of jobs for the locals in all sectors including the private sector.

"Unfortunately my report is gathering dust since two decades. The members of Parliament from the state should raise the issue and force the union government to heed to the demands of Kannadigas," she demanded.

UNI MNP-RS SKB1648

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