Police on Monday resorted to lathicharge and used water cannons on energy department employees protesting near Income Tax roundabout over “strong rumour” that the state government was privatizing Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) and its subsidiary companies.
Around 300 workers and engineers of power holding companies from various districts had gathered near Vidyut Bhawan under the banner of Vidyut Kamgar Padhadhikari Abhiyanta Sanyukt Sangharsh Morcha. They disrupted traffic on Bailey Road and Beerchand Patel Path and threatened to go on strike if the department decided to privatize BSPHCL and its subsidiaries.
Surendra Kumar, general secretary of Power Engineering Service Association, told this newspaper that they had written a letter to BSPHCL chief managing director (CMD) Pratyaya Amrit to make things clear on the issue.
“We asked him to give clear answers about the issue as PM Narendra Modi has already said about privatization of power companies under Aditya Yojana. However, when there was no reply from the CMD, we gathered here to talk to him. But he refused to meet us. We will continue our protest,” he said.
A junior engineer from Gaya said police chased them like criminals and many of the employees were injured. “We are fighting for our rights. If the state government privatizes power holding company, we will lose our jobs,” he said.
Another employee of the power company said all staff recruited after 2012 will lose their jobs in case of privatization.