In a strongly worded letter, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday warned Punjab Civil Service (PCS) officers, who are on mass casual leave since January 9 to protest the “illegal” arrest of one of their colleagues, to join duty by 2 PM or face consequences.
Mann, in the order issued today morning, added: “Such a strike amounts to blackmailing and arm-twisting.”
The PCS officers proceeded on their five-day casual leave on Monday after the state Vigilance Bureau arrested PCS officer Narinder Singh Dhaliwal in Ludhiana on Friday. They claimed that standard operating procedure was not followed by the bureau and that he was arrested “illegally, wrongfully and arbitrarily”, reported PTI.
Dhaliwal, posted as regional transport authority in Ludhiana, was arrested for allegedly taking bribes from transporters for sparing them challans for offending vehicles, the vigilance bureau had said.
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.