Though the state government and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal seemed relaxed after the cremation of the minor girl, who was pushed to death from a bus of the Orbit company in Moga, yet all does not seem to be over for them as the 23 outfits from across the state, already agitating against the incident, have formed a joint front to intensify the fight against the Orbit transport company.
The front has been named as "Orbit Bus Kaand Virodhi Action Committee of Punjab". The newly formed committee has announced statewide protests in front of offices of deputy commissioners in all districts on May 12. The committee will hold meetings at all district headquarters on May 8 to make preparations for the protest.
The 23 outfits included farmer unions, labour and trade unions, farm labour unions, women organisations, youth organisations and student unions, which are already struggling independently. A meeting of these 23 outfits was held at the Nachhatar Singh Memorial Bhavan in Moga on Tuesday.
The committee has sought an independent probe of business and property owned by the entire Badal family by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India. Secondly, the committee has demanded cancellation of permits of all routes of the Orbit Aviation Private Limited bus service.
The committee has sought resignation of Sukhbir Singh Badal for being the owner of the bus company and resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal for 'telling lies' about the ownership of the bus company in front of the media and in Parliament.
During the state-level meeting, the committee disclosed that all private bus owners have more than three 'goon-type' persons deputed on each bus in the state other than the driver and the conductor. "These goons harass the passengers including girls, students, women and common passengers on the pretext of ticket checking. Sometimes, the cops of Punjab police also join this staff. Those students having no ticket are dragged down and beaten up while the girls are usually sexually harassed," said Hardev Singh, national president of the All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha.
"Such things happen daily in almost all the private buses across Punjab. This has disturbed the peaceful environment of Punjab and all it is happening under the patronage of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal," Sandu said.
Members of the newly formed action committee are
Hardev Singh, national president of the All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha; Buta Singh Buraj Gill of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU Dakaunda); Nirbhay Singh Dhudike' state president of Kirti Kisan Union; Surjit Singh Phool of BKU (Krantikari); Jhanda Singh Jethuke. BKU (Ugrahan); Bhupinder Singh Longowal of the Naujwan Bharat Sabha; Amandeep Kaur Deol of Istri Jagriti Manch, Punjab; Kulwant Singh Sandhu of Jamhuri Kisan Sabha, Punjab; Jaswinder Dhesi of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naujwan Sabha; Pawel Kussa of Naujwan Bharat Sabha; Kawanljit Khanna of Plus Manch Punjab; Lachhman Singh Sewewala of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union; Giani Gurdev Singh of All India Kisan Sabha; Tersem Peeter of Pendu Mazdoor Union; Sukhdarshan Natt of Punjab Kisan Union; Sanjeev Mintu of Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union; Ganga Parshad of Punjab Nirman Mazdoor Union and Jaswinder Jhabelwali of Democratic Employees Federation.
PSU will ghero Badal family owned buses in Moga on May 6
Meanwhile, Punjab Student Union (PSU), which is also a part of the newly formed committee, held a separate meeting of its office bearers and students at premises of ITI Moga. The PSU state body member Karamjit Singh Kotkapura announced to stop Badal family owned buses (other than Orbit Aviation) in Moga on Wednesday (May 6) and no bus of Badal family owned would be allowed to enter Moga.
"We will continue our protest as per the schedule announced by the Orbit Bus Kaand Virodhi Action Committee Punjab on May 8, May 12and the future programme other than our Wednesday's action", said Kotkapura.