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Sacked Nigahbans go on hunger strike till death

BOONI: After the forest department failed to clear the nine months’ salaries of over 200 sacked Nigahbans from upper Chitral, the latter went on a ‘hunger strike till death’ in Booni at 2pm on Thursday.

“As many a 10 of our colleagues today started their hunger strike till death or acceptance of their genuine demand. We want our right. The forest department has sacked us without any notice and without paying our nine months’ salaries,” Muhammad Nabi, a representative of the protesters, told ChitralToday.

He said after the Nigahbans started their protest in Booni a few day ago the forest department formed a committee under a union council nazim to verify the services of the nigahbans for payment of their dues.

But when the committee submitted its report recommending the payment of the dues the department reneged on its promise and started making different excuses. He said the Nigahbans were left with no other option but to go on the hunger strike till death.

He said the forest department about two years ago had hired the Nigahbans and entered into an agreement with them that their salaries would be paid upon verification of their work after every three months. He said on May 31 this year, the forest department officials told the Nigahbans verbally that their services had been suspended and salaries stopped.

He asked under what law of the land the services of the Nigahbans had been terminated without issuing them any notice and clearing their nine months’ salaries. He said the Nigahbans would not end their protest till their dues were paid to them.

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