Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday warned Punjab Civil Service (PCS) officers, who are on mass leave to protest the "illegal" arrest of their colleague, to join duty by 2 pm, failing which they will be suspended. Such a strike amounts to blackmailing and arm-twisting, he said.
The tough stand of Mann came after services at administrative offices in the state were hit as the officers went on five-day mass casual leave beginning Monday to protest the arrest of PCS officer Narinder Singh Dhaliwal in Ludhiana by the state vigilance bureau.
In a tweet, Mann said, “It has been brought to my notice that some officers are not attending duty in the garb of some strike. They are protesting against strong action taken by the government against corrupt officers". "Let this be very clear to everyone that this government has zero tolerance to corruption. Such a strike amounts to blackmailing and arm twisting. It cannot be tolerated by any responsible government,” he said.
"Therefore, you are hereby directed to declare the strike illegal. Suspend all such officers who do not join by 2 pm today i.e 11.01.2023. Those who do not join by 2 pm, their period of absence should be treated as dies non,” said the CM.
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 officer has been arrested illegally, wrongfully and arbitrarily and without due procedure," the PCS officers' association had claimed.