In a bizarre protest over non-supply of potable water in Bahona village in the district, its Sikh sarpanch on Friday snipped off his beard and hung it on the door of the deputy commissioner’s office after the latter allegedly failed to fulfil his promise to ensure restoration of water supply.
The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had snapped the power connection of the tubewell that supplies potable water in Bahona in the wake of non-payment of pending bills amounting to Rs 16 lakh by the panchayat, resulting into an acute water crisis.
On Thursday, Sarpanch Harbhajan Singh had held a protest with a black cloth worn around his mouth at the mini-secretariat here that houses the DC office. He had also vowed not to take water for the entire day. DC Dilraj Singh then assured him that he would get the water supply in his village restored till Thursday evening, but it was not restored.
Harbhajan said that when he called up the DC on Thursday evening, the latter asked him to come on Friday to discuss the issue. “I then told him that if he won’t restore the water supply till 11 am on Friday, I will cut-off my beard over spoiling my reputation in the village,” he said.
“However, when I went to meet the DC on Friday, he didn’t entertain me and abruptly left his office without listening to me, which forced me to snip off my beard,” he added.
Harbhajan snipped off the lower part of his beard and hang it on the door of the DC office.
The sarpanch later demanded strict action against the DC for “abetting a Sikh man to snip off his beard.”
Watch: Sarpanch blames Moga DC
WATER SUPPLY RESTORED
When contacted, DC Dilraj said he was busy in a meeting due to which he could not meet the sarpanch. “But I told him to submit an undertaking with the PSPCL office that the panchayat will pay the electricity bill for the village tubewell.”
However, he said, the sarpanch wanted free power for the tubewell. “This is not possible as there is no provision to provide free water to the residential sector,” he added.
The DC said he later sent a team of officials to Bahona where villagers assured that they will pay the pending power bills, following which the water supply was restored to the village by the PSPCL officials.