Employees of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) continued their 48-hour strike for the second day on Tuesday against the alleged provident fund-DHFL scam.
"About 45,000 power employees staged peaceful demonstrations all over the state for the second day today reiterating the demand for issuance of a notification by the government taking responsibility for safe return of their money, invested in DHFL by the Uttar Pradesh Power Sector Employees' Trust," convenor of the Vidyut Karamchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (VKSSS), Shilendra Dubey said.
However, the units generating power have been exempted from the protest to prevent grid failure.
Over Rs 2,600 crore from the provident fund (PF) of the state power employees was reportedly invested in the scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) by the trust, prompting the state government to order a CBI probe.
Dubey, whose VKSSS, a joint forum of power employees and engineers, is leading the dharna programme said that the core committee meeting of the Samiti will be held on Wednesday to chalk out the future course of action.
"The core committee meeting of the Sangharsh Samiti has been convened tomorrow after the successful 48 hour work boycott and an announcement for future struggle programme for justice will be made," Dubey said.
"We are not demanding money but an assurance from the government that our money will be returned to us safely," Dubey said, adding that the CBI probe assured by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should get underway at the earliest so that the real culprits could be nabbed.
He also reiterated the demand for arrest and dismissal of the former chairman of the power corporation who was also the chairman of the trust and alleged that bureaucrats are misleading the government.
In Lucknow, the striking employees converged at the Shakti Bhawan while they held protest meetings in other districts also.
The state's power minister Shrikant Sharma, while terming the work boycott as politically motivated, had said that the government was taking full care of the employees.
"The employees are like family for us. We are taking full care of them to ensure that they do not face any problems. The work boycott is politically motivated," Sharma said.
The home department has directed all district magistrates and police chiefs to ensure proper security of all employees who are not taking part in the work boycott and vital installations under their jurisdictions.
Principal Secretary, Home, Avnish Kumar Awasthi, in a letter to the respective DMs and police chiefs has asked them to extend security to vital installations of the power department and take stern action against staff who damage property and instigate others to join the protest.
The investment in DHFL was made between March 2017 and December 2018, it claimed.
The Uttar Pradesh Economic Offences Wing (EOW) probing the case has so far arrested five people including senior officials of the Corporation in connection with the alleged scam.