BJP, Cong join hands to seek justicefor supdt slapped by sweepers | punjab | Hindustan Times
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BJP, Cong join hands to seek justicefor supdt slapped by sweepers

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have joined hands against the incident in which two sweepers allegedly slapped Zone-a superintendent Rajeev Bhardwaj on September 24.

punjab Updated: Sep 28, 2013 21:34 IST
Arjun Sharma

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have joined hands against the incident in which two sweepers allegedly slapped Zone-a superintendent Rajeev Bhardwaj on September 24.

Interestingly, both BJP and Congress have demanded strict action against the two Class-4 employees, who were supposed to be on duty at the time of the incident. Leaders of both parties have sought dismissal of the duo.

A group of members of the Valmiki community had visited Bhardwaj on Tuesday asking for permission to install hoardings of a religious procession ahead of Bhagwan Valmiki Prakash Utsav.

Denying consent, Bhardwaj had told the members to seek permission from additional commissioner Isha Kalia. After Bhardwaj refused permission, two sweepers Vicky (ward number 3) and Raju (ward 18) allegedly slapped Bhardwaj.

"The incident is shocking and we stand by Bhardwaj. If action is not taken against the Class-4 employees, who slapped Bhardwaj, in future anyone could come to the MC office and assault officials. How can the officials function like this?" questioned Sunita Aggarwaj, senior deputy mayor and BJP leader.

Sources said senior BJP leaders were in contact with Bhardwaj and were guiding him about future course of action.

Deputy mayor RD Sharma of BJP, who was also present during the meeting where a compromise was reached between Bhardwaj and Valmiki community leaders on Tuesday evening, is also supporting the official, though in a discreet manner.

Even district-level leaders of both parties have jumped in to get "justice" for Bhardwaj.

Pawan Dewan, district president of Congress, said such incidents brought a bad name to any government office. "We should support the official who was beaten up while complying with the orders of his seniors," Dewan said, adding that if anyone wanted to install hoardings, they should have approached the municipal commissioner.

Meanwhile, Bhardwaj claimed that he had been receiving threats, and demanded quick action against the culprits.

The episode has also resulted in a major rift within the Valmiki community. The two sweepers are being supported by community leaders, including Lakshman Dravid and Vijay Danav, while Ashwani Sahota, another leader of the community, is supporting Bhardwaj.

MC officials form union

MC officials on Saturday formed the Ludhiana Corporation Ministerial Union in which 32 members, including superintendent, inspectors and clerks have been appointed as office-bearers. While Zone-A superintendent Rajeev Bhardwaj has been appointed as president, MC secretary Hartej Singh has been chosen as the chairman. Another Zone-A superintendent KP Singh has been appointed as vice-chairman and Zone-D superintendent Jasdev Sekhon as secretary general.

The body would take care of the interests of superintendents, inspectors and clerks, who were so far not represented by any union.

Panel to inquire into incident

MC commissioner Rahul Tewari on Friday formed a committee to inquire into the matter. The panel comprises joint commissioner AS Sekhon, additional commissioner Dharam Singh and Devinder Singh. However, no formal orders have so far reached the officials who have questioned the validity of this committee. The commissioner has also not set any time frame for the inquiry.