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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Hard-pressed because of protests, admin, police heave a sigh of relief

Sachin Sharma, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, March 05, 2014
First Published: 21:06 IST(5/3/2014) | Last Updated: 21:07 IST(5/3/2014)

The announcement of parliamentary elections has brought a sense of relief to the civil as well police administration here, that had been on their toes for the past over one month in handling protests in the city.

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During the past over one month, very few days have passed without a protest in the city and the administration was hard pressed to tackle these protests, keeping in view the upcoming parliamentary elections in the politically sensitive constituency. 

Protesters utilised even Wednesday when elections were announced bringing in force the model code of conduct, prohibiting the state government from taking any policy decision to benefit these agitators.

However, the administration now seems to be somewhat relaxed as protesters are not expected to carry on with their agitations here till the completion of the election process.

A police official said that, definitely, the implementation of the poll code has brought relief to them as they will not have to put their energy in tackling the protest, that, otherwise, had become a daily routine here.

Meanwhile, the employees under the banner of the state ministerial staff union made a last-ditch effort to press the state government to accept their demands and staged a protest inside the mini secretariat building raising anti-government slogans. District secretary of the union Kewal Bansal said that as per the planned agitation, they would stage a protest at the state assembly in Chandigarh on Thursday and will chalk out the strategy to carry on the protest further.

 On the other hand, protesting registered medical practitioners (RMPs) also continued their protest in support of their demands.  District president of RMPs' union HS Ranu said that as the parliamentary elections have been announced, they will have to chalk out their plan afresh.

The administration and the police had to face many aggressive protests in the district in February. The protest by Education Guarantee Scheme teachers, followed by the death of 14-month- old girl child Eknoor Kaur 'Rooth' in the first week of February had forced the state government to accede to their demands.

Similarly, the protest by BKU (Ekta-Ugraha) and Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union in the form of a gherao of the mini secretariat building had forced the government to order the sanction of Rs. 70 crore as compensation to farm suicide victim families and displaced families of Govindpura thermal plant in Mansa district.
 
SSP Gupreet Singh Bhullar said that though protests are still going on as ministerial staff employees and RMPs staged protests while BKU (Ekta-Ugraha) and Punjab Khet Mazdoor union activists are still protesting at Bhucho, but he hoped that the protests would halt now during the electioneering time.

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