The employees and engineering staff of the departments of Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Irrigation and Flood Control closed their offices here and went on a strike in support of PHE Chief Engineer Muzaffar Lankar.
Lankar tendered his resignation yesterday as a protest against the alleged abuse by the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan during a meeting which was also attended by PHE minister Sham Lal Sharma.
The employees gave a three-day ultimatum seeking an apology from the minister.
Lankar tendered his resignation on Aug 7 as a protest
They threatened to disconnect drinking water and irrigation supply in the valley as a protest if the demand was not met. "We have closed our offices and are on pen-down strike as a mark of protest. We have not yet gone on a tool-down strike. We are giving the government three days' time to meet our demands failing which we will go on a tool-down strike and disconnect water and irrigation supply in the valley," Ghulam Ahmad Nath, chairman, All Kashmir PHE Employees Association, told reporters.
Nath demanded that the government should register an FIR and conduct an inquiry into the incident. "We condemn this attitude of the minister. The government must register an FIR and conduct an inquiry. The minister should resign and the government should not accept the resignation of the official," he said.