LAHORE: Hundreds of Population Welfare Department employees stormed the Punjab Civil Secretariat and clashed with police in Lahore on Wednesday.
A large number of the protestors were women, who crossed the main gate despite police warnings of baton charging. Two women had fainted after clashes with the police and were shifted to the hospital.
The protestors were demonstrating against the Punjab government over administrative issues including the merger of their department with the Health Department.
No high ranking official form the secretariat came outside to listen to the complaints and when police tried to disperse the protestors forcefully, they organised themselves and crossed the barricades to enter the building. The protestors also broke windows of the chief secretary’s office.
“We had been protesting against the government but nobody listened to us. Today we were forced to enter the Civil Secretariat. Two of our colleagues were brutally tortured and fainted,” one of the protestors told The Express Tribune.
This was the second time that government employees had entered the Civil Secretariat. Hundreds of PCS offices had stormed the secretariat on March 18, 2011.
Punjab Civil Services Association (PCSA) Secretary Coordination Ahmad Khawar Shehzad said it was a sad day in the history of the province as government employees had been beaten up, adding that the Punjab government was being run in a poor way.
PCSA President Rai Manzoor Nasir said the rulers should think about why all government departments in the province were protesting during the tenure of current Chief Secretary, Nasir Mahmood Khosa. He said the government should solve problems being faced by the employees before things take an ‘ugly turn’.