Protest against Sukhu cabinet member  

Shimla, June 21

A Council of Minister of Sukhvinder Singh cabinet, Anirudh Singh drew sharp reaction and opposition from the members of the Sirmaur taxi union here on Tuesday who lodged demonstration over unilateral action by police against them under the Poltical influence of Minister.

Number of Taxi union and tourist guides from Sirmaur district assembled at deputy commissioner’s office, accusing Rural Development Minister Anirudh Singh of bias over his comment against guides from the district working in Shimla.

The matter triggered after a minor altercation between two groups of Taxi union belonged to capital town Shimla and Sirmaur last week when rural development minister publically extended his poltical influence to support the Shimla taxi Union and reportedly pressurised the police to book and take action against Sirmour taxi operators and Tourist guide.

Protesters claimed that instead of attempt to pacifying the Shimla taxi union, Singh on Monday said that all those involved in the scuffle would be arrested and asked the taxi drivers to be patient.

The Sirmaur taxi union protested against the statement, saying Singh is a minister of the entire state and not just Shimla. Politics of bias towards a district will not be tolerated, they said.

Lending support to the protest, Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur issued a statement saying Anirudh Singh’s statement was an attack on the federal structure and was aimed at breaking the state. BJP alleged that police were not even registering complaints of injured members of the Sirmaur taxi union.

The law-and-order situation in the state has deteriorated in the past six months and the chief minister has no control over his ministers, Thakur added.

Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi informed that ten people were arrested and 16 vehicles impounded following last week’s scuffle and FIRs were registered based on complaints from both sides.

A committee has been constituted to ensure that the situation does not go out of hand, he added.

Trouble started when a driver of the Sirmaur taxi union showing hotel rooms to a tourist near Auckland Tunnel in Shimla town’s Lakkar Bazaar area was allegedly thrashed by some people of the Shimla taxi union.

The Shimla union members, however, claimed that it was the taxi driver of Sirmaur who used abusive language and started the fight.

Some members of Sukh Goverment also criticised the Minister for being unbaised and creating rift between taxi operators for purpose of vote banks.

Shimla including Sirmaur and Kashmiri migratory workers not only facilitate the tourist to their hotels and earn their bread and butter by working as tourist coolies and other ancillary activities.


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