Bhagalpur/Patna: Bhagalpur municipal commissioner S.B. Meena and a few other employees of the civic corporation were manhandled on Wednesday evening by a few allegedly drunk ward councillors and their henchmen.
Their offices were also ransacked.
This has led to over 1,400 employees of Bhagalpur Municipal Corporation (BMC), including those posted at Barai waterworks – drinking water treatment and supply plant, going on a flash strike, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits and suspension of the ward councillors involved in it. The protesting workers have threatened to cut the water supply to the Silk City.
The incident happened when Vinay Gupta, husband of Sandhya Gupta, the councillor of ward number 41, councillors of ward numbers 21 and 36 – Sanjay Sinha and Pramod Lal, respectively – and their associates entered the BMC office and began the vandalism.
“They ransacked the office and abused the staff. Meena came out of his chamber after hearing the commotion, but was manhandled by Vinay. He was saved by the BMC employees as other councillors and their musclemen were also trying to assault him,” a BMC staff member told The Telegraph.
Enraged by the brazen assault, that too in their office, the BMC employees nabbed Vinay, Amar Kumar and Tuntun Gupta and handed them over to the police.
An FIR has been lodged at Adampur police station against Vinay, Sanjay, Pramod and several others. They have also been accused of assaulting the municipal commissioner and other employees, hurling caste-related abuses, looting cash and other important documents from the BMC office, as well as, destroying government property. Around 50 BMC personnel, including Meena, are witnesses in the FIR.
Talking to The Telegraph, Meena, a 2014 batch IAS officer, termed the incident “unfortunate” and said that the councillors indulged in vandalism for more than half-an-hour while others remained mute spectators.
“We are condemning the incident, which will certainly have a negative impact on the ongoing smart city project,” Meena said.
Though Bhagalpur senior superintendent of police Manoj Kumar was not available for comment, Adampur police said raids were being conducted to nab the absconding accused.
Amid all the hullabaloo, Mayor Seema Sha expressed ignorance about the incident.
The incident has brought the BMC to a standstill and not a single councillor was seen on the campus. A large police contingent is present on the premises.
The mobile phones of the councillors, Sanjay and Pramod, were switched off, while Sandhya, whose husband Vinay is the main accused, said she was unwell. She claimed her husband and relative had gone to the municipal commissioner to apprise him about the drinking water crisis in her ward.
“I don’t know what exactly happened yesterday (Wednesday), but my husband has not returned home,” Sandhya said, but expressed ignorance about his whereabouts.
A source said the “accused persons had criminal antecedents and are trying to establish their supremacy in view of the huge funds that are expected to come to Bhagalpur as part of the smart city project”.
Commissioner Meena, on his part, has urged the agitating BMC staff to withdraw their strike and resume work.
Courtesy: The Telegraph