Action ordered against staff taking part in roadways strike
252 drivers to be sacked; union extends protest by two days
Taking a strict view of the two-day strike by Haryana Roadways employees causing inconvenience to the public, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday directed the Transport Department to suspend employees and officers who are participating in this strike.
A decision was taken in the review meeting to suspend without issuance of any show-cause notice the drivers who were on probation and participated in the strike.
Similarly, 252 drivers who were on contract under Outsourcing Policy–II and joined the strike would also be removed from service from Wednesday.
The Chief Minister also took action against the officers and ordered suspension of the General Manager of Palwal and Works Manager of Bahadurgarh. He also ordered inquiry against the officers who indirectly participated in this strike.
Besides this, a decision was taken to suspend the newly appointed clerks who were on probation period and participated in this strike.
During the review meeting, it was decided that an advertisement would be released to invite applications to appoint 930 conductors and 500 drivers under Outsourcing Policy–II.
Transport Minister, Krishan Lal Panwar; Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Rajesh Khullar; Additional Chief Secretary, Transport Department, Dhanpat Singh, were also present during the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Haryana Roadways workers union decided to extend the strike by two days even as Dhanpat Singh said there could not be any negotiations or compromise on introducing private buses.
The union, during an emergency meeting in Kaithal, decided to extend the ‘chakka jam’ to October 18 and 19 while criticising the government for its decision to impose ESMA and act against employees on strike.
Union leaders Harinarayan Sharma and Sarbat Punia said instead of reaching out to the protesting employees, the government was proceeding against them and termination of service was an attempt to crush the agitation.
Is the government taking strict action against the roadways employees?
Rampal, 13 aides awarded life term in another murder case
Additional District and Sessions (ADJ) Judge DR Chalia awarded life imprisonment till death to Satlok Ashram head Rampal and 13 of his supporters, including a woman, for the murder of a disciple in November 2014.
Besides Rampal, the convicts are Raj Kapoor, Rajender, Balwan, Pawan, Rajiv Sharma, Rajesh alias Ramesh, Natwar Lal, Rajesh, Ramchander, Joginder, Virender, Babita and Krishan.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2.05 lakh on each of the 14 convicts. They were awarded rigorous imprisonment till death without remission in the murder and criminal conspiracy charges. A jail term of two years was also awareded on charges of wrongful confinement.
The police had booked them under Sections 302, 343 and 120-B of the IPC on November 14, 2014, in connection with the murder of a disciple, Rajni, in Satlok Ashram.
The police had to storm the ashram to arrest Rampal to implement the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to produce him before the court in a contempt of court case.
On Tuesday, the court sentenced Rampal and 14 of his aides to life imprisonment till death for the murder of five women and a child in Satlok Ashram, Barwala.
The ADJ observed that “godmen” were in the news for all the wrong reasons. “From financial fraud to rape and even outright murder, their self-appointed leaders seem to be grabbing national attention on a fairly regular basis. The script is predictable. The guru may go to prison, but his followers refuse to stop believing in him,” the judge said, adding “those of us who don’t subscribe to this kind of blind, raging faith, find the phenomenon baffling”.
“We wonder who are these people and why do so many people believe in these dubious men and women to the extent that they are even willing to die for them,” the ADJ said in the order.
Did Rampal get the right punishment?
Judge’s family did not mistreat Mahipal: Police
The police officially declared that Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) Krishan Kant’s gunman Mahipal had shot at his wife and son in a fit of rage, even as they claimed the judge’s family didn’t mistreat him.
Mahipal has reportedly confessed before an interrogating team of losing his cool when ADJ’s son Dhruv allegedly pulled him up for being untraceable when they returned from shopping.
On October 13, Mahipal shot at ADJ’s wife Ritu (37) and son Dhruv (18) in Arcadia market here. Ritu succumbed to her injuries, while Dhruv struggles for life.
Sumit Kumar, DCP (Crime), told the media here, “Ritu and Dhruv had asked head constable Mahipal to wait near the car while they went shopping. On returning, they did not find him near the car. They made several calls to him, but he did any answer any. When Mahipal came back, the mother-son duo scolded him. Dhruv asked for the car keys and that enraged Mahipal. So, he shot at them in cold blood.”
Videos recorded by bystanders show Mahipal trying to haul Dhruv into Honda City after the incident. When he failed to do so, he is seen getting into the car and fleeing.
The police said Mahipal wanted to “eliminate the evidence” by removing Dhruv from the spot. “He reacted on instinct. But seeing people filming him, he fled towards Faridabad. But he was nabbed,” the DCP said.
He denied the allegation of the judge’s family mistreating Mahipal. “The gunman told the interrogating team it was for the first time that he was pulled up and, not being habitual, he could not take it,” the police officer said.
The police further claimed there was no record of baptism of Mahipal. “The conversion theory is a mere rumour.”
Mahipal’s four-day police remand will end. “We are yet to decide whether or not we will seek further remand,” the DCP added.
Is Mahipal mentally patient?
Student body elections peaceful in Haryana
Education Minister Ram Bilas says BJP has fulfilled its pre-poll promise
Elections to students’ bodies in 11 universities and 288 colleges across the state passed off peacefully on Wednesday.
Sources said out of the 1,108 class representatives (CRs), 517 were elected unopposed in the universities.
While there was contest for the posts of 254 CRs, 296 toppers were also elected to the student bodies.
The sources said results of 224 out of 288 colleges were declared by the evening. The election was conducted for 4,011 CRs of which 1,862 were elected unopposed, 966 through election process and 1,183 were class toppers.
The elected CRs later voted for elections to the posts of president, vice-president, secretary and deputy secretary. Elections were also held for the five executive council seats of the colleges and universities.
Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the election process remained peaceful. “Elections to the students’ bodies were held after a gap of 22 years in accordance with the election manifesto of the BJP for the 2014 Assembly elections,” he added.
517 class representatives elected unopposed in universities
1,862 class representatives elected unopposed in colleges
INSO, NSUI boycott poll in Ambala
Ambala: Members of INSO and NSUI on Wednesday boycotted the students’ elections and protested outside the colleges. Meanwhile, the elections went off peacefully in 15 colleges of Ambala. The INSO members said, “The government has conducted the elections in an unfair manner and we are boycotting the elections. We will not accept the elected presidents.” The NSUI members said that only ABVP members were participating in the elections. It was not an election, but selection of presidents.
Has the government been relieved by the peaceful elections of the student union?
Roadways’ staff booked under ESMA
Strike successful in Hisar, Yamunanagar and Sonepat districts on first day
Haryana Roadways employees went on a two-day strike to protest against a government’s decision to introduce 700 private buses. The response was partial response.
Despite the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) being in force roadways workers staged sit-ins at several depots across the state.
The ESMA prohibits strikes by employees in an essential service.
Police personnel were deployed at several bus stands to prevent any untoward incident and buses plied with police escort at some roadways depots.
“We want the government to withdraw its decision of introducing private buses in the state,” a union leader said.
In August also, employees had gone on a day-long strike to protest the government’s decision to introduce 700 private buses.
Kaithal: Passengers were put to inconvenience, as they travelled by private buses and other modes of transport. The local authorities, however, claimed that more 60 per cent of buses plied. But union leaders claimed that of the 140 buses in the local, depot 20 to 25 buses plied.
Hisar: The strike was successful here, with the authorities failing to persuade drivers and conductors to operate buses. The roadways’ authorities tried to ply three buses, but the staff alighted from the buses to express their solidarity with striking employees.
Kurukshetra: Of the 176 buses in the local depot, 90 were pressed into service. As a result, buses of Punjab Roadways, PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) and other states were filled to capacity. Lekhraj, General Manager, Kurukshetra depot, said roadways’ buses plied from places outside the bus stands.
A police spokesperson said five union leaders were arrested under the ESMA and 13 roadways’ employees were booked for proceeding on strike.
Yamunanagar: Hari Narain Sharma, president, All-Haryana Roadways Workers’ Union, claimed the strike was successful in the district. “Only five buses of the Yamunanagar depot plied,” he said. General Manager Ravinder Pathak, however, claimed 21 out 180 buses of the depot plied.
Ambala: In all, 11 roadways employees were booked under the ESMA. Passengers were left high and dry. Private buses were overcrowded.
Karnal: Most of the roadways’ buses remained off road. The authorities said private buses were filled to capacity.
Sonepat: The strike was almost successful here. In Gohana, 80 per cent of the buses remained off road. Security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident.
Faridabad: The police rounded up 44 employees, while 15 to 20 buses operated. A clash-like situation erupted after the police rounded up union leaders, who had deflated the tyres of several buses early in the morning. About 110 buses ply from the local depot on long routes daily.
Panipat: General Manager SP Parmar claimed that of the 133 buses of the local depot, 90 plied.