Hoax alert: Secretariat was all ready for another invasion

Police, sanitary workers were deployed at the entrance after warning call.


Our Correspondent May 23, 2012

LAHORE:


Police contingents and sanitary workers were deployed at the Civil Secretariat on Wednesday after a caller warned that All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) planned on storming the premises again.


According to sources, an anonymous caller told a Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) officer that APCA’s Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) chapter members were planning to stage a protest outside the Secretariat. He also said that they might enter the premises.

After receiving the call, the Secretariat administration called up police and asked them to send a contingent to avoid a repeat of May 16 when the Population Welfare Department employees stormed the Secretariat. As many as 40 sanitary workers were also directed to gather at the gate. They were provided with batons to “deal” with the protesters in event of an attack. An S&GAD estate officer supervised them.

No private vehicles, even those with a permit, were allowed to enter the premises.

At about 1 pm, the administration was told that APCA had held its protest outside the Tevta secretariat in Gulberg. It was only after they were sure that the protesters did not plan on coming to The Mall that the police were sent back.

An S&GAD official said that they were thinking of recruiting at least more than 200 men for Secretariat security.

Tevta employees arrested

Though dozens of Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) employees were baton charged and arrested by police outside the Tevta Secretariat on Wednesday its administration lacked knowledge of the incident.

“We don’t know anything about what happened outside our office. We were inside. The people who were protesting outside were our employees,” Tevta spokesperson Mustafa Kamal told The Express Tribune. Kamal said he would give a detailed briefing on Thursday.

A Tevta employee said dozens of his colleagues were peacefully protesting outside the Tevta head office in Gulberg against low salaries when the police arrived and asked them to vacate the area. “We refused to disperse and the police started a baton charge. Dozens of Tevta employees were arrested,” he added.

He said that the salaries of Tevta employees hadn’t been increased for last two years and they hadn’t been promoted to the next scales.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.

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