Bathinda: More complaints of truckers’ extortion surfacepunjab Updated: Apr 29, 2017 09:05 IST
The truck allegedly snatched by self-acclaimed union members.(Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)
A day after the Bathinda district administration pitched in to resolve the alleged extortion of truckers in the garb of a truckers' union, a contractor supplying sand and gravel to an oil refinery alleged that he threatened by the ‘union’ members.
Ramesh Dubey of Bihar, who bagged the contract of delivering sand and gravel to the oil refinery in 2009, was on Friday allegedly asked to "either leave Punjab or hand over the contract of transporting sand and gravel to the refinery" to the 'union'.
As Ramesh narrated the incident to Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljinder Kaur of AAP outside the refinery, another aggrieved man, Hakam Singh, complained that his truck was seized by one Sukhwinder Singh alias Guni, a member of the union. “My truck is still parked outside the police 'chowki' and the cops were not lodging a complaint,” he said.
Transporter Rachpal Singh Walia told HT that the work of supplying material to the refinery had come down by 30% as the 'union' headed by Guni was extorting money from truckers. "As of now, the union is not touching the containers and full-body trucks, but they can do that also," Walia said.
Baljidner Kaur gave a patient hearing to the aggrieved voices at the refinery where she also planted a sapling. The refinery officials were tight-lipped, saying they were not authorised to talk to the media, even as they acknowledged the trouble.
Bathinda SSP Navin Singla said a probe was on into the truck seizure allegedly by the 'union' men. "We are closely looking into the larger problem of truckers and trying to resolve it for once and all," he said. Singla, however, said he had confirmed that there was no complaint with the police regarding threat to the contractor . “I will still look into the matter,” he said.
Guni, who was summoned by the senior police officials on Thursday, told HT that the 'union' wanted deployment of the local trucks at the refinery. "We (the union) have signed an agreement with the companies working for the refinery to hire local open-body trucks, but now they are backtracking from the agreement," he said.