The Panchkula police was caught unaware on Wednesday when Jan Chetna party president, Venod Sharma, and his party activists decided to march from their party convention in Sector 5, Panchkula, to gherao Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) office in Sector 2.
The building remained seized for almost five hours with police finally detaining the party president and some of the party activists as well.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Jan Chetna had org anised a youth convention at Inderdhanush auditorium where about 3,000 people had gathered which included only few women and boys who were not even adults.
While addressing them, Sharma raised the issue of those who were seeking jobs by paying money and called them undeserving. He suggested an end to the interview system which paves the way for awarding more marks to some people while those from north Haryana were left high and dry.
He called the workers to march towards HSSC office, to demand the resignation of chairman of HSSC, Vijay Kumar.
At first Sharma sat outside the office, soon after which the workers surrounded the office and started raising slogans against Congress government and chairman of HSSC.
Some of them climbed over concrete window shades and dug their party flags in flowerpots. Soon, Sharma entered the building along with about 30 workers. Inspector Manish Kumar tried to block the entry of workers but they were outnumbered and in a minute close to 100 workers were inside the building.
The situation became precarious as interviews for blind candidates were going on, for recruitment of 70 posts including clerks, market supervisors and auction recorders. They faced great difficulty as they lost their way in the crowd.
The crowd led by Sharma reached the second floor, when chairman Vijay Kumar came out to meet Sharma.
Although Kumar raised questions about how he could be asked to resign all of a sudden, Sharma did not relent.
The chairman chose to get himself locked in a room along with a couple of officials on the third floor. By 2.30 pm, the workers spread over various corridors and occupied the chairs kept for visitors. They also occupied one of the rooms which belonged to a member of HSSC.
Some flower pots were also broken. Around 3.30 pm, all the station house officers and ACPs reached the spot. Commissioner of police(CP), Ajay Singhal, and DCP Ambala Surinder Pal Singh, who is acting DCP for Panchkula, also arrived at the spot.
At this time, Sharma had occupied the space just outside the chairman’s cabin on the second floor.
The personnel who had reached in large numbers had now completely blocked the way from the second floor to the third floor, where the chairman was sitting.
Around 4.15 pm, the crowd defied the police and reached outside the third floor’s gate. Within 10 minutes, some police personnel with helmets reached there and started pushing the protestors away. A mild lathicharge was also carried out while Sharma kept sitting on the second floor.
Soon, Sharma entered the third floor to meet the chairman where CP, deputy commissioner SS Phulia, additional deputy commissioner, SP Arora, were also present. He asked the chairman to resign or he would not budge from there.
At this time, the police decided to court detain Sharma and his supporters. Around 5 pm, the police started pushing the protestors down.
By 5.30 pm, the police took Sharma and his party workers from the spot to police lines where they were let off. The chairman then finally returned to his cabin.
In the end, the CP praised the force and advised them not to use force against protestors as such protests would continue till the elections.