High drama was witnessed for nearly three hours at the district administrative complex on Wednesday when workers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) locked horns with officials, including senior cops, over the issue of handing over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner.
The party workers were there to hand over the memorandum demanding resignation of Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh.
The ‘peaceful’ protest by AAP workers turned unruly when they entered the deputy commissioner’s office even as he was not there and pasted a copy of the memorandum on the DC’s chair with a push pin.
Alleging that the government has ordered the deputy commissioners in the state not to receive any memorandum from the party, the workers gathered in the complex and chanted slogans against the SAD-BJP regime, minister Tota Singh and the administration.
Adamant on their demand that deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav come outside to receive the memorandum, the workers exchanged heated arguments with additional deputy commissioner police-1 (ADCP) J Elanchezhian when he informed them that DC was busy in a meeting and they should hand over the memo to other officials, but workers did not buzz and insisted over meeting the DC only.
Sensing the trouble, ADCP (special branch) Harpreet Singh Mander, ADCP (traffic) Parminder Singh Bhandal, ADCP (industry security) Kulwant Singh with a small posse of cops arrived at the spot and asked the AAP representatives to lift the dharna.
Then, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Rajat Oberoi told the protesters that they could meet the DC in his office as the meeting was over but AAP leaders refused to do so and requested him to ask Yadav to come outside his office to receive the memorandum.
Police officials and CID sleuths were seen talking to some AAP leaders and requested them that since they are local residents of the city there was no need to make an ego issue out of it.
The AAP leaders, including AAP spokesperson and retired IAS officer Ram Rattan Bhardwaj, party’s Jalandhar zone observer Rajiv Chaudhary, Atam Parkash Singh (Babloo) and others agreed to meet the DC in his office to hand over the memo, but then police officials informed Chaudhary that only 10 of them could meet Yadav.
Initially, Chaudhary expressed shock over this but he changed his stance after a while and agreed to this.
They told the DC that the party had informed his office about handing over the memorandum at 11am but his office employees did not show any respect to them even as he was present there.
Yadav told them that they had also violated the decorum of a government office by pasting the memo on his chair. He said they had not informed his office about the handing of the memorandum and he occupied in a meeting with chief secretary through video-conferencing on the Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojna.
The AAP leaders showed him a permission letter which was issued by police, not by the DC office.
The DC told them that they are welcome to meet him or to hand over any complaint in a decent manner in future, but such incidents should not happen.
Finally, they handed over the memorandum to Yadav.