Police detained 100 members of the nurses and ancillary staff union for three hours on Tuesday midnight, acting on a tip-off that they could be travelling to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s village to protest for regularisation of jobs.
“We made frantic calls to everyone on our contact list. It was a scary experience for us. Cops were under the suspicion that we will gherao the CM’s residence in Badal village, but we were on our way to Damdama Sahib gurdwara in Talwandi Sabo,” said Amandeep Kaur Sandhu from Ferozepur.
The nurses were travelling in a private bus when they were stopped at a checkpost near Mansa-Kainchiyan road. Cops took them to the police lines complex where the nurses refused to get out of the bus. It was parked outside the complex amid tight security for hours as police failed to come to an understanding with the nurses.
“Some of our members are pregnant. Police detained us despite genuine medical reasons,” said Karamjeet Kaur Aulakh. One of the nurses fell unconscious due to the heat and many alleged that they were ill-treated.
Punjab kisan union leaders were also present at the spot. Though the nurses were later allowed to go to Damdama Sahib, cops escorted them to their destination.
Senior superintendent of police Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar said the nurses were detained because they had intelligence that they were travelling to Badal village in Muktsar. “We detained them as a precaution but they were not charged with anything, as they agreed to not go to Muktsar,” said Bhullar. Later on Wednesday afternoon, the nurses returned to Patiala escorted by police after a formal protest in Talwandi Sabo.
Similar case in Ferozepur
Nurses from Amritsar were also detained near Zira in Ferozepur around 10pm on Tuesday. They were released on Wednesday noon.