Statement of Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board Engineers Association
November 29, 1979 – An unforgettable chapter of sacrifice, bravery and sacrifice of electricity engineers across the country which became an inspiring example for electrical engineers around the country – a movement whose voice was also heard from BBC London and foreign media.
— The slogan was
“We are engineers, not beggars – if we serve, we will take our rights”
To crush the movement of electricity engineers of UP, the then Uttar Pradesh government imposed Misa (Maintenance of Internal Security Act – now known as NSA) on which even the court could not interfere for six months after being arrested and Government has this right that period could be extended by six more months i.e. jail for one year without hearing.
On 28 – 29 November night after getting news of arrest from Panki power house, electricity engineers queued up in front of Hazratganj Kotwali and started giving arrests voluntarily. Such an atmosphere was created in which the government’s misa pieces could be seen flowing in the drains of Hazratganj. More than 1600 electricity engineers voluntarily gave arrest and filled the prisons of UP. 85 superintendent engineers and a chief engineer voluntarily got arrested against the repressive policies of the state government, by showing iron unity. Finally the government had to bow down; the government came to the negotiation table and all the engineers were released unconditionally.
This movement started for demands of three pay reviews from 1969, 1974 and 1979 and for getting salary of promoted post even if there is no time-scale promotion, but the movement became an example of amazing sacrifice and sacrifice.
We pledge every year on “Pledge Day” to repeat the same saga of sacrifice when the time comes, like freedom fighters.
*Hail Engineers Association! *
* Hail India!! *
Jitendra Singh Gurjar
General Secretary, Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board Engineers Association