Line-men held for ?repair work? | india | Hindustan Times
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Line-men held for ?repair work?

THE LUCKNOW police may not lodge a common man?s FIR and take any action against the criminals, but it lost no time to register a case against four BSNL line-men and arrest them. The reason: They were repairing a damaged telephone cable.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 00:58 IST

THE LUCKNOW police may not lodge a common man’s FIR and take any action against the criminals, but it lost no time to register a case against four BSNL line-men and arrest them. The reason: They were repairing a damaged telephone cable.

Although the top BSNL bosses, including chief general manager Surinder Singh talked to the principal secretary (home) and the chief secretary about the incident and pleaded for the release of the four line-men, but their efforts came to naught.

The police lodged a case against the four line-men under various sections of the UP Property Damages Act following a complaint by a junior engineer, PWD.

According to reports, four linemen of the Lucknow Telephones/BSNL were repairing a telephone cable which the Jal Nigam had allegedly damaged at Tilak Marg on Saturday while digging the road for laying water pipes.

Sources said that a senior IAS officer of the principal secretary rank passed by the spot where the linemen were busy repairing the fault. The officer was furious and abused the four for digging the road. He called up the SSP, Lucknow and the Hazratganj police picked up all the four linemen around 5 pm.

On receiving the news, the senior BSNL officers contacted the Hazratganj police, pleading that the linemen were innocent as they were only repairing the cable and it was the Jal Nigam that had dug the road.

But the police were not willing to pay any heed to their arguments. Later, they also contacted principal secretary (Home) SC Agrawal and chief secretary NC Bajpayee but they failed to bail the linemen out.

The top BSNL officers were sitting in the office till late night trying to secure release of the linemen. In fact, they were worried thinking the line-men were not released, the employees would be annoyed and their association might make it a big issue.  

A senior BSNL officer regretted that the police were treating the ‘innocent’ linemen as if they were hardcore criminals. “Various government departments often damage our cables while digging the roads but the police never take action on our complaints,” he said.