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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann tells protesting civil servants to either resume duty by 2 pm or face suspension

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday came down heavily on civil service officers protesting against the arrest of PCS officer Narinder Singh Dhaliwal in a corruption case, warning them that if they did not resume their duty by 2 pm today, they would be suspended.

The Chief Minister’s decision came after the administrative offices were disrupted as the officers in the state proceeded to go on a strike following the arrest of PCS officer Narinder Singh Dhaliwal by the State Vigilance Bureau.

CM Bhagwant Mann termed the strike by the officers to be blackmailing and arm-twisting. Taking the issue to Twitter, Mann had said that it was brought to his attention that some officers are not attending their duty in garb of strike. He further added that the officers are protesting against the move by the government against corrupt officers.

He further said in the Tweet that the government has zero tolerance to corruption and added that the strikes by officers amounts to blackmailing and arm twisting. The Punjab Chief Minister further added and said that any responsible government won’t tolerate such cases.

Mann, in his Tweet, also declared the strike to be illegal and further added and said that all the officers should join their place of work in the Civil offices by 2pm on Wednesday. He further added that for those who do not join by 2 pm, their period of absence will be called a suspension.

Narinder Singh Dhaliwal’s arrest

PCS officer Narender Singh Dhaliwal was arrested by the vigilance bureau on January 6 for running an organised criminal racket to collect money as bribes from transporters in the Ludhiana district. According to reports, the bureau acted on a complaint filed by Satnam Singh who had called the Chief Minister’s Anti-Corruption Helpline in November 2022.

The FIR against Dhaliwal has charged the PCS officer under sections 7,7-A and 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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