VDF association to launch indefinite economic blockade

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, treasurer of Imphal West VDF welfare association, Yumnam Iboyaima said that the personnel who are deputed at isolation wards and covid care centers will leave their duty without taking COVID-19 test if the demands are not fulfilled by the given deadline.

The All Manipur VDF Welfare Association is all set to launch an indefinite economic blockade from the midnight of August 10 if the demands of the association are not fulfilled through a decision at the state assembly.

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, treasurer of Imphal West VDF welfare association, Yumnam Iboyaima said that the personnel who are deputed at isolation wards and covid care centers will leave their duty without taking COVID-19 test if the demands are not fulfilled by the given deadline.

The chief minister assured to increase the monthly honorarium of the VDF personnel but during the state cabinet meeting conducted on Thursday, it was decided to make an increment at Rs 10,500, including ration money, he said. The association will not accept the cabinet decision, he added.

He said the demands of the association should be brought on the floor of the state assembly to be held on August 10. All the personnel who are deputed at COVID isolation wards, community quarantine centers, police outposts and other police stations will leave their duty immediately if the issue is not solved in the coming assembly session, he warned.

When the personnel leave their duties, they will not take any test for COVID-19. The state government should take the responsibility if the whole population of Manipur becomes infected from the VDF personnel, said Iboyaima. He said some of the VDF personnel are still posted at COVID isolation ward, covid care centers without doing their duties by supporting the ongoing strike.

Meanwhile, a release issued by general secretary of All Manipur VDF Welfare Association, Sh Shanjit Singh mentioned that the VDF personnel under the association have been continuing ‘arms down- pen down’ strike since July 16, raising their demands.

The chief minister and education minister have assured increment of the monthly honorarium but a separate government order was also issued despite all the assurance made earlier, it stated.

“What is the hidden agenda of the government? Are they planning to put blame that the VDF personnel are escaping from their duties amid the pandemic situation?” it questioned.

The release further mentioned that if the VDF personnel cease their duty on August 10, the government should take responsibility if any destruction happens to government properties such as ‘arms and government buildings’.

The association will withdraw the ongoing strike if the government is ready to give monthly honorarium at Rs 10,500 without ration money by considering the pandemic situation, though the demands are to give monthly honorarium at Rs 18,666 along with service regularization, the release added.

First Published:Aug. 7, 2020, 10:12 p.m.