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Non-payment of salaries: ‘Nigahbans’ threaten to stage protest in Upper Chitral

Peshawar

June 1, 2020

CHITRAL: Demanding release of 13-month salaries, the Nigahbans in Upper Chitral, who were appointed by the Forest and Wildlife departments, on Sunday announced to launch protest drive if the issue was not solved within 10 days.

“If the government fails to clear the salaries by June 7, we will launch a protest drive from June 8,” said an affected employee after a meeting in Bang in Upper Chitral. The participants of the meeting regretted that despite repeated appeals the government had failed to pay salaries to these workers for 13 months. They said they were looking after newly-planted saplings, checking hunting of wildlife and stopping grazing in mountains, but were not being paid salaries.

They said the Forest and Wildlife departments were passing the buck to each other for payment of their salaries. The Nigahbans were hired by the Forest Department under the KP government’s Billion Tree Tsunami project. The Nigahbans of Upper Chitral were paid salaries after 14 months in June 2019 after they held protests and launched a hunger strike in Booni against non-payment of salaries and sacking of some of their colleagues.

They said due to the coronavirus lockdown their miseries had multiplied and they were unable to feed their children. They asked the government to intervene in the matter and direct the authorities concerned to release their salaries.