Seven jawans fainted owing to heat at the indefinite fast site called by 2,000 jawans of Gujarat Industrial Security Force (GISF) on Wednesday. They were rushed to Gandhinagar Civil Hospital.
In the afternoon, two jawans fainted. They were identified as Jitendra Parmar from Ahmedabad and Arvind Patel from Rajkot. In the evening, five more fainted.
The jawans had begun their indefinite fast near Pathik Ashram in Gandhinagar under the aegis of Gujarat Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU). Amrish Patel, GFTU secretary, said that more jawans joined in following the announcement of fast unto death.
"On Wednesday, 600 more GISF jawans from different parts of state extended their support. We are now preparing a comprehensive list of all," said Patel.
These jawans were deployed at important establishments like Ambaji Temple, Sardar Sarovar Dam and Navlakhi Port. He further said, "Some 130 jawans deployed at Sachivalaya also supported the fast and more are expected to join in the coming days."
Before the fast, around 3,600 jawans had gone on an indefinite strike on Tuesday after their negotiations with state government failed. Demanding rise in pay and parallel benefits as enjoyed by government employees, around 2,500 jawans marched towards Gandhinagar from Ahmedabad on Monday.
While talks with home secretary MD Antani fell apart, representatives of GFTU announced their indefinite strike from Tuesday evening. They said that they would continue with their strike until the state government gave pay hike to them. We are left with no option but to go on fast unto death to solve our pending issues. The state government has acted insensitively by not responding to our plea," said Patel, who claimed that no officials had contacted them or requested them to end their fast and agitation.
On Tuesday, Antani had held a meeting with GFTU representatives. "The GISF delegation had come to meet me. We are willing to talk to them if their demands are within what they are legally entitled to. They cannot expect us to fulfill any unjustified demands," said Antani, who is also GISF chairman.