Grim theatre marks PSC protests.

Police use water cannon to disperse Congress, Yuva Morcha workers.

PSC rankers agitating for government jobs on Tuesday staged a parade replete with stark human representations of “dead bodies” being carried to the grave.

They also displayed effigies of job seekers hanging from trees in front of the Secretariat to highlight their desperation.

PSC rankers have been on a sit-in strike there for the past 22 days. They transcend party lines.

Around 100 persons ranked eligible by the PSC for employment as Civil Police Officers (CPO) joined them recently.

The agitation has increasingly become political and threaten to turn youth ire against the government. Congress and BJP have thrown their weight behind the strikers.

Youth Congress and Yuva Morcha workers attempted to storm the Secretariat gate demanding that the government engage the PSC rankers in talks.

The police used water cannon to disperse the activists. They arrested a few Yuva Morcha workers who attempted to scale the Secretariat fence.

Congress legislators Shafi Parambil and K.S. Sabarinath are on fast under a lean-to there. Former Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, who visited them, said the government’s back-door appointments smacked of favouritism.

The rankers have demanded the government create more last grade posts and extend the current PSC list’s validity by six months.

In Thalassery, CPI(M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan accused the Congress of using the PSC agitation as a cover to inflame passions that incite violence.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan said the Congress had attempted to spread the lie that the LDF government had appointed 3.5 lakh persons via the back door to play on the insecurities of unemployed youth in a bid to drive them to desperate acts.

The government had regularised temporary workers who were at their jobs at a meagre wage for the past 10 years or more. Compassion was the sole criteria. Political consideration was not in play.

The regularisation had occurred in institutions outside the purview of the PSC. The LDF government had appointed 1,57,911 persons via the PSC. It has extended the date of expiry of PSC rank lists. It planned to create a knowledge economy where youth would not lack in jobs.

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