Bathinda: Nearly a dozen agitating activists of the Punjab State Agriculture Cooperative Societies Employees Union suffered injuries after the police lathi-charged them on Sunday at Balluana village in Bathinda district. The police action took place in the evening after the protesters, more than a hundred in number, denied lifting their dharna from Malout-Chandigarh national highway, where they had been staging their protest since morning to register their annoyance before the Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who was scheduled to visit the village during her Sangat Darshan tour.
According to information, the agitation was launched by the union activists to get their 37 members released from the jail unconditionally, whom the police had arrested two days back when they raised slogans against the government in a Sangat Darshan event of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Jangi Rana village in the district. They were demonstrating to draw the attention of the government towards their long pending demands including the implementation of Fifth Pay Commission, issuance of cheque books to new members, wage scale for those fulfilled the condition of serving for two consecutive years, etc. Even on Saturday, a group of agitators had intercepted the police bus outside the mini-secretariat Bathinda when the 37 arrested employees were being taken to produce before the SDM. The SDM, as learnt, had allowed them all to get released after furnishing bail bonds. However, they denied furnishing bail bond, demanding the release unconditional. For not completing the legal formalities, they were all sent to jail.
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