The fast-onto-death stir by jail wardens in Odisha entered the fourth day today even as over 50 striking warders were shifted to hospitals after falling ill during their hunger strike. The state government appealed to striking warders to call off their agitation saying the Chief secretary will hold a discussion with the State Anomaly Committee on December 15 vis-à-vis with the pay parity demand by them.
IG Jail S S Hansda also made a similar appeal on Wednesday saying the government is actively considering the demands of the striking warders and they should immediately call off their strike and join duties. He, however, maintained that jails across the state have made alternative arrangements to man the cells while the warders are on strike.
Nearly 1,500 warders in about 91 jails of the state launched indefinite hunger strike on Monday demanding better pay and cadre recognition. For over a decade now, the jail warders are demanding pay parity with police constables and status of class IV employees of state government. Warders pointed out that the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in 2003 had ordered for pay parity of the jail warders with that of police constables immediately.
While 92 warders of Choudwar circle jail are on fast-onto-death strike, two of them were rushed to SCB medical college and hospital here on Tuesday night after they were taken ill. However on Tuesday, at least 16 other striking warders were shifted to various hospitals. Reports reaching here said that ailing warders from Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Kendrapara, Balaswar and many other places were shifted to hospitals as their condition deteriorated.