November 30, 2023 12:29 pm

Punjab Civil Service officers go on mass leave against ‘illegal’ arrest of colleague; revenue officers, too, join protest

The Punjab Civil Service officers went on a mass casual leave for five days starting Monday in protest against the “illegal” arrest of a colleague in Ludhiana by the state vigilance bureau.

A decision in this regard had been taken by the Punjab Civil Services (PCS) Officers’ Association on Sunday.

The association president, Rajat Oberoi, said 235 PCS officers across the state have gone on mass casual leave.

He further said expressing solidarity with the PCS Officers’ Association’s protest, the revenue officers in the state have also proceeded on mass casual leave during this week.

In a statement after meeting the Chief Minister on Monday, PCS Officers’ Association said it is up to the government to decide the date when they will rejoin duty.

PCS officer Narinder Singh Dhaliwal, who was posted as regional transport authority in Ludhiana, was arrested on Friday by the vigilance bureau for allegedly taking bribes from transporters for sparing them challans for offending vehicles, the bureau had said.

The PCS Officers’ Association held a meeting of its general body to discuss Dhaliwal’s arrest. Eighty officers attended the meeting, according to the resolution of the association on Sunday.

“The PCS officer has been arrested illegally, wrongfully and arbitrarily and without due procedure,” it said.

It was resolved in the meeting that all the PCS officers in the state shall proceed on a mass casual leave for the coming week starting from January 9, it said.

The association demanded that the government constitute a high-powered committee to investigate the “illegal” arrest of Dhaliwal and sought its report by January 13.

The committee should include senior IAS officers of principal secretary rank as well as a PCS officer and representatives of the transport department, as per the resolution.

The resolution said further course of action will depend on a review of the situation on January 14.

The vigilance bureau on Friday had said during the investigations of a complaint lodged through the chief minister’s anti-corruption helpline on November 18, it was found that Dhaliwal was indulging in collecting bribes through some private persons from different transporters on a monthly basis in Ludhiana for not issuing challans against their vehicles. 

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