Ludhiana: 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 here by the state Vigilance bureau. A decision in this regard had been taken Sunday by the Punjab Civil Services (PCS) Officers’ Association. The president of the association, Rajat Oberoi said a total of 235 PCS officers across Punjab have gone on mass casual leave.
Oberoi further said that 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.
PCS officer Narinder Singh Dhaliwal, who was posted as regional transport authority here, was arrested 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 Sunday. “The PCS officer has been arrested illegally, wrongfully and arbitrarily and without due procedure,” the resolution 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 by the PCS officers said further course of action will depend on a review of the situation January 14.
The Vigilance bureau had said Friday that during the investigations of a complaint lodged through the chief minister’s anti-corruption helpline 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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