New Delhi/India: Police constables and Hawaldars posted on state borders threaten to go on indefinite strike from Monday due to the fear of GST being rolled out from July, 2017. They fear that the ‘free flow’ of goods across states would hamper with their income that they earn from taking bribes from truckers.
Our correspondents tried to take statements from the policemen posted on state borders but no one was ready to talk about it. One anxious Hawaldar, on condition of anonymity, expressed his feelings when asked about the successful passage of GST bill. “Humein laga tha opposition is baar bhi (Lok) Sabha mein hungama karke bill paas nahi hone degi. Ab yeh opposition wale itne nikamme ho gaye hain ki election jeetna to door, Parliament mein ek bill bhi nahi rok sakte. Ab hamare biwi bacchon ka kya hoga. Unhein kahan se laake khilayenge aur pilayenge. Ab roz ki daaru band, Bacchon ki private school ki fees kahan se bharenge. Biwi ke liye roz baazar se tohfe khareedna bhi band. Woh to hamara muh hi noch legi”. (We thought the opposition would stop the passage of the bill by creating ruckus in Parliament. Now far from winning election, they cannot even stop the passage of even one bill. How will I feed my family now. Now no more daily alcohol. How will I pay my children’s school fee. Also no more buying gifts for my wife).
The All India Police Association however, has assured the policemen that they would take up the matter with the Government. Ashish Nagpal, Chairman, AIPA, has told that all those posted on state borders need not worry as they have challenged the legality of the bill in the Supreme Court. However, to their dismay, the SC has scheduled to hear the matter only after August, 2017.
All state unions of Police are planning to hold massive protests in front of Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley starting Monday. “Our brothers work day and night at the state borders to keep a check on goods entering the states. This is how this government treats them?”, said a Delhi Police constable who supports this movement.
Meanwhile political parties aren’t that far away from taking centrestage. Rahul Gandhi met the union workers on Saturday and said that this government is a “suit-boot ki sarkar”. He was also heard to be saying, “Yeh sarkaar gareebon ka haq maar rahi hai.. apka haq maar rahi hai.. aapke biwi-bacchon ka haq maar rahi hai.. par aap chinta mat kijiye. Main aa gaya hun. Main aap logon ke saath khada rahunga. Main aap logon ke liye sangharsh karunga.” Other politicians such as Arvind Kejriwal, Sitaram Yechuray, and Mamta Bannerjee also showed solidarity with the policemen.
Meanwhile, Youth Policemen Association has started an online campaign to voice their opinion with trending hashtags like #StopGST, and #YeBikGayiHaiGormint.