INDORE MUNICIPAL Corporation (IMC) employees went on a lightning strike on Monday to protest the alleged assault on City Engineer (Waterworks, Drainage and Electrical Engineering) N S Tomar by a close associate of Assembly 5 MLA Mahendra Hardia.
Tomar was reportedly attacked by Manish Sharma, aka Mama, and three unidentified accomplices outside his office. They thrashed him and also took away his mobile who when he failed to fulfil their demand for ‘chanda’ (donation). He suffered minor injuries to the eyes and legs in the assault.
After dithering initially, the MG Road police eventually booked Mama and his accomplices under Sections 394, 323, 506 of the IPC and the Arms Act following a complaint filed by the City Engineer.
Immediately after the assault employees struck work and gathered at the IMC headquarters compound demanding immediate arrest of the accused. The strikers, led by union leaders Ramlal Yadav and Jatashankar Karosia, threatened to continue the strike on Tuesday if their demand wasn’t met.
Several Congress leaders, including Leader of the Opposition in the IMC Suresh Minda and K K Yadav, also arrived on the scene demanding immediate arrest of the quartet.
Earlier, recounting the sequence of events, Tomar told newspersons that he received a call from Manish Sharma at around 2.30 pm demanding ‘chanda’. “When I told him I didn’t have the money he hurled abuses and threatened me with dire consequences.” Thereupon, said Tomar, he informed both Mayor Uma Shashi Sharma and Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma about what had transpired.
‘‘Around an hour later, as I was climbing the stairs to my office, Mama and his accomplices pulled me down and punched, kicked and beat me up with sticks,’’ he informed, and added that he received injuries to the eye and legs.
Tomar also lambasted IMC employees for standing mutely while he was being attacked in broad daylight. “There are over 5,000 IMC employees. If only a few had intervened this wouldn’t have happened,” he said ruefully.
After the assault Tomar was taken to the MG Road police station by City Engineer (Public Works) Hans Kumar Jain to file a complaint against the assailants. The duo initially returned empty-handed as the cops on duty refused to file a case in the absence of TI R S Jhala. A case was finally lodged against Mama and the others at around 7 pm.
Mayor Uma Shashi Sharma expressed regret over the incident. She, however, disavowed any knowledge of Manish Sharma’s association with MLA Mahendra Hardia. The MLA himself was unavailable for comment.