The staff of municipal corporation (MC), Panchkula, on Wednesday held a strike after the clash between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Ravi Kant Swami and executive officer SK Chauhan over casteist remarks.
Chauhan had lodged a complaint in this regard at Sector 14 police station and a case has now been registered against Swami.
Chauhan had alleged that Swami came to his office on Tuesday evening along with some people for taking No Objection Certificate (NOC) on a file. When he asked to keep file on the table as he would take some time, he started using casteist remarks and even allegedly beat him up.
Chauhan had even mentioned in his complaint that while using the casteist remarks, Swami said that “people like you are not fit to become executive officer and should have been working as sanitation worker”.
MAYOR NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER OFFICE
On Tuesday, mayor Upinder Kaur Walia had tried to pacify Chauhan but in vain. On Wednesday, she was not allowed to enter the office as the MC staff pulled down the shutter from outside. The sanitation workers also sat on strike along with the MC staff. All of them raised slogans against Swami and the mayor. They demanded arrest of Swami at the earliest.
Through the entire day, the MC staff kept on pressurising authorities for registering FIR against Swami and finally it got registered. “We registered a case under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act, section 506 (for criminal intimidation), section 353 (for using assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), section 332 (for voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),”said inspector Suresh Kumar, station house officer (SHO), Sector 14 police station.
The inquiry had been entrusted to ASP Sumer Pratap Singh. “The law shall take its own course,”said the mayor.
However, Chauhan was still not pacified. He told HT that the strike would continue till the arrest of the councillor.
GARBAGE NOT COLLECTED
As the sanitation workers were on strike, the garbage was not collected from dump yards across the city, taking the district administration, which has been running Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, on the edge. On Wednesday, HT visited different markets and residential areas across the city and found that all dump yards overflowing with garbage, spreading stench all around.
SK Nayar, president, the citizen welfare association (CWA), said, “The local administration should quickly resolve the issue as the life could become hell without the sanitation workers.”