Tension prevailed in Nabha on Thursday as members of a local truck union pelted stones at trucks carrying paddy to be loaded into rail wagons for the central government’s godown.
Claiming that the amount paid by contractors to use the trucks was very less, president of a local truck union Ravinder Sharma refused to provide vehicles to local contractor Mahavir Singh, who was allotted the task of transporting paddy to the Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) central warehouse wagons.
However, when Singhar ranged for trucks from another source, Sharma’s group blocked him and pelted stones at the trucks.
Singh claimed that local police’s ‘nepotism’ led to the chaos while shifting paddy from the godown to the railway station.
He said, “In spite of orders of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana (HC), the police have failed to provide security to continue the proceedings.”
Following the incident, loading of the wagons was halted and as many as 50 railway police were deployed at the station to avoid any untoward incident.
As per the HC’s orders on July 18, Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardial Singh Mann had been directed to take action against the defaulters in the issue.
“We have met SSP several times and apprised him of the situation but nothing concrete has been done. Even the local police was approached many a times but to no avail,” said Mahavir.
As per FCI norms, the contractor has to load rail wagons within nine hours, exceeding which ? 9,000 per hour would be charged as a damage amount, he added.
“Had the police arranged for security, we would have loaded the wagons on time. But, now it has already been delayed by five hours,” he claimed.
Nabha station house officer (SHO) Davinder Attri said, “We have taken up the matter with Nabha sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to amicably solve the issues between both groups. Moreover, precautionary measures have been taken to maintain law and order.”