Tribune News Service
Amritsar, February 24
The Railways forcibly removed the shed of the taxi union from the parking lot of the railway station here on Monday. This resulted in law and order trouble as agitating taxi drivers and police officials exchanged blows and accusations.
Jatinder Singh, a taxi driver, accused a police official of tossing his turban and pulling his hair when he, along with other taxi drivers, was protesting against the action. Inspector Mohan Lal, part of the accompanying law enforcing agency, said though he was not authorised to talk to mediapersons, he was compelled to do so as some taxi drivers assaulted him.
He claimed that they tore his uniform, obstructing officials in the course of their duty and tried to communalise the anti-encroachment drive by raising slogans in favour of Khalistan.
Later, the Government Railway Police (GRP) registered a case against five persons. Railway staff engaged a JCB to pull down the shed from where the union operated. The officials said their contract expired in September but they were reluctant to evict the premises compelling them to use force.
Kuldeep Singh, a leader of the taxi union, said they did not receive any eviction notice. He said there were 40 licence holder taxi drivers who had been paying Rs 1,200 per month as license fee to the Railways.
He said they had been offered a 60-m area, which is enough to accommodate about 10 four-wheelers, at the railway station. Earlier, they had been given enough area to park about 40 taxis at the forecourt of the parking bay.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ferozepur Division, Rajesh Aggarwal said he was not aware of the law and order problem at the railway station as local officials were involved in the removal of encroachments. He said the taxi union had been allocated space in terms of number of taxis permitted to the park. He said the Railways was taking measures as per the law to ensure the overall development and beautification of the railway station.
Sukhwinder Singh, SHO, GRP police station at the railway station, said a case under relevant sections against five identified and 25 unidentified persons was registered.
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