On the second day of protest by the municipal corporation (MC) employees in Panchkula over the demand to arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Ravi Kant Swami for making casteist remarks against MC executive officer (EO) SK Chauhan, the sanitation workers on Thursday dumped two heaps of garbage outside the residence of deputy commissioner SS Phulia.
This residence is also being used as the camp office. The garbage was dumped in presence of police and an official vehicle was used to carry it.
The extra police force was called in to cordon off the DC residence. The assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Adarshdeep Singh also reached spot after which, the DC came out of the residence and talked to protesters.
The workers then went to dump the garbage outside local member of legislative assembly (MLA) Gian Chand Gupta's residence in Sector 17. However, police stopped them on the way so they dumped it on the road.
They also raised slogans against Swami and demanded his arrest.
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 the file on table as he would take some time, he started using casteist words. He even allegedly beat him up.
Chauhan had even mentioned in his complaint that while using the casteist words, Swami said that people like him were not fit to become executive officer and that he should have been working as a sanitation worker.
After his complaint, Swami was booked at Sector 14 police station under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, criminal intimidation and for using assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty on Wednesday. The inquiry was handed over to assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Sumer Pratap Singh.
IMPACT ON COMMON MAN
The strike by the MC staff has punctured the administration's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in Panchkula, which was to be held from November 1 to 7.
The dump yards in markets as well as residential areas were overflowing with garbage that had spilled on the road, spreading stench around them.
About 122 tonnes of garbage is collected in Panchkula and shifted to the dumping ground every day. For over two days, the garbage has not been shifted to the dumping ground, causing inconvenience to residents.
In Panchkula, the workers employed with a contractor collect garbage from each house and dump at specific points in the sector. From these locations, the garbage is lifted to the dumping ground by the MC workers.
Executive Officer, MC, SK Chauhan said that they would continue to protest till the arrest of Swami.
DC SS Phulia, who is also the commissioner of MC, said, "We are looking into the workers' demand of suspension and arrest of the councillor and will talk to them again on Friday."
MLA Gian Chand Gupta said, "It's very unfortunate that MC workers are protesting, while the common man is suffering. Some people are also taking the law in their hand. As far as action against the BJP councillor is concerned, the law will take its own course."