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International Day of Persons with Disabilities today

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Dec 2 - On a day when the International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be observed across the globe tomorrow, differently-abled people from across Assam will launch a protest in the city over the State government�s failure to fulfil their various long-pending demands.

The protest will take place in the Dighalipukhuri area under the banner of the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha, Asom (PSSA), an organisation fighting for the rights of differently-abled people of Assam.

The PSSA had set December 1 as the deadline for the State government to resolve their various demands. But, till today, as alleged by the PSSA leadership, the State government has not given any positive response towards those demands.

The PSSA had declared that it will boycott the International Day of Persons with Disabilities if the government fails to take action against those police personnel who were involved in atrocities on differently-abled people during a protest by the organisation at Dispur Last Gate on October 5.

On that day, hundreds of differently-abled persons from various parts of the State had staged a sit-in demonstration under the banner of PSSA, calling for fulfilment of their various demands.

As alleged by the PSSA, during the peaceful protest, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Amitabh Basumatary, Sub-Inspector of Dispur Police Station Nipu Kalita, constable Nirmali Devi and other police officials assaulted the protesters.

The PSSA has already moved the Assam Human Rights Commission along with the President of India, the Governor of Assam, the Chief Secretary of Assam and the Director General of Police, Assam, alleging that the police personnel tortured the protesters even though they had taken permission from the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati, to stage the demonstration.

Within the same deadline, the PSSA had also demanded publication of an advertisement for a recruitment drive against 4,419 posts reserved for differently-abled people of the State that are lying vacant in various government departments.

Earlier, the government had formulated an action plan to start the recruitment drive and planned to initiate the process within September this year. The action plan was based on decisions taken at a meeting attended by then Social Welfare Minister Pramila Rani Brahma and senior officials and representatives of PSSA, Dristihin Parishad and Dristihin Chatra Sanstha on August 2.

But the PSSA alleged that the government has not taken any initiative to implement the action plan. It has also demanded of the government to take steps to provide pension and free housing facilities to differently abled people of Assam.

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