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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

MC work hits as workers hold pen-down strike

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times  Patiala, December 02, 2013
First Published: 20:58 IST(2/12/2013) | Last Updated: 21:00 IST(2/12/2013)

A day after Patiala Municipal Corporation inspector thrashed by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) councillor, pandemonium prevailed throughout the day as members of different employees unions of MC held complete pen-down strike and staged protest in front of the MC office and residence of accused SAD councillor Sukhdev Singh Sandhu on Monday.

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Despite registration of criminal case against Sandhu, the agitators continued their protest demanding termination of the accused SAD councillor from MC house.

The protestors also blocked Patiala-Sirhind road and dumped garbage in front of the accused councillor's residence.

Heavy security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident and to maintain law and order in the area.

The SAD councillor from ward number 9 has been charged with assaulting an on-duty building inspector, namely, Harbans Singh in public on Saturday while he was on duty to identify and stop illegal construction in his ward.

However, after Sunday's protest, police have registered case against Sandhu under Sections 323 (punishment for causing injuries voluntarily), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 148 (whoever is guilty of rioting) and 149 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

"The SAD councillor and his accomplice bashed me when I asked a local jeweller, known to the Sandhu, to stop illegal construction in Preet nagar area. The councillor threatened me to face dire consequences of life in case I tell this to anyone," Harbans stated in the FIR.

The MC employees had started protest soon after the incident took place and continued it despite getting assurances from mayor Amarinder Bajaj and MC commissioner Parminder Singh Gill to initiate action against Sandhu.

Abiding by the protesters' demand to demolish illegal construction of the shop, MC authorities carried out demolition work in front of the agitators to pacify them.

Gill said, "Some part of the shop has been under illegal construction. The illegal portion has been demolished and the shop owner has been asked to apply for change of land with MC to legalise its property."

Reagarding termination of the accused MC councillor, he said "The law will take its own course as police have started investigation."

Municipal Workers Union president Ajaib Singh said, "The strike will be carried till the accused councillor is arrested and terminated from the MC house for such goondaraj.

"No employee will carry out official work until our demands are met," he added.

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