There is no end in sight for the troubles of rural development and panchayat minister Sikander Singh Maluka in a case involving assault on a school principal, with the deadlock between the joint action committee (JAC) and the beleaguered minister, who was accused of orchestrating the whole incident, refusing to come to an end.
The meeting between Maluka and JAC, formed over the attack on and transfer of Daljeet Singh, former principal of Senior Secondary School, Bhagta, was scheduled for Friday, but the former failed to turn up at the venue in Bhagta Bhaika in the district.
After Maluka failed to attend the meeting, the JAC members started protesting outside the market committee office, accusing the district administration of befooling them and taking their demands lightly.
Demanding an immediate action against the accused, hundreds of JAC members had laid seize on the deputy commissioner's office on August 8, but called off their protest after district administration assured to organise a meeting with the minister on August 14.
"Administration officials today asked us to visit either Maulka village or Chandigarh on August 17 to meet the minister. We have rejected their proposal and decided to continue with protests at different places in the district in the coming days", said Jagsir Singh Sahota, a JAC activist.
He said this was not for the first time that both the minister and the district administration had backtracked from their assurance of solving their demands amicably.
"Besides any arrest in the case, the education department has failed to re-transfer the principal back to Bhagta Bhaika school," Sahota said.
Despite repeated attempts, Maluka could not be contacted.
Daljeet was attacked by some people on April 4 after he decided to bring certain reforms to "maintain discipline and transparency" in the school. Not only this, he was transferred to senior a secondary school in Talwandi Sabo on April 6.
After succumbing to public pressure, the administration assured the workers to re-transfer him to the Bhagta school, but officials backtracked from their statement later.
Moreover, Maluka has been drawing flaks across the area for his alleged indirect interference in the school matters, besides endorsing anti-social elements.