Staff Correspondent

The former Minister feels they did not follow rules while arresting protesting pourakarmikas

State Human Rights Commission also to

be petitioned

Kanta says he is not responsible for

bus-torching incident

GULBARGA: The former Minister S.K. Kanta on Saturday said he will move the High Court against Gulbarga Tahsildar Sashikala, Additional Superintendent of Police Yellappa and Deputy Superintendent Tadakol on the grounds that they did not follow the correct procedure while arresting agitating pourakarmikas of the Gulbarga City Corporation (GCC).

At a press conference here, Mr. Kanta said the police directly went to arrest the pourakarmikas, which amounted to a procedural violation.

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) would also be approached in this regard, he added.

Mr. Kanta said the pourakarmikas had been on protest since August 17 here seeking payment of pending wages.

They had not been paid wages for the past 26 months, he alleged. He said the protesters were wrongly taken into preventive custody by the police just before the Cabinet meeting here.

They were not even produced before a Magistrate, he added. “I was taken to a jail in Bellary and others to different jails after the arrests were made. But none of us were served food until we reached our destinations,” he alleged.

The former Minister said the previous GCC Commissioner K.G. Jagadeesh and the incumbent had written to the State Government seeking release of pending wages of pourakarmikas (amount is around Rs. 6.2 crore). Minister for Law S. Suresh Kumar had also promised to get the wages released, but nothing had happened so far.

Mr. Kanta termed the condition of the pourakarmikas as “pathetic.” There were instances where pourakarmikas who were staying in rented premises had been thrown out owing to non-payment of rent.

“When will the State Government take action?” he asked.

Regarding the torching of a bus in Gulbarga city on the day of the Cabinet meeting here, the former Minister claimed he had not instigated the workers to such violence, but said that, “at some point in time people were bound to lose their cool”.