Jalandhar, September 30
Members of the now-withdrawn scheme of Guardians of Governance (GoGs) on Friday organised a massive protest outside the office of the district administration demanding an apology from the government for insulting them by passing ‘unsatisfactory performance’ remark against their work.
We were performing our duties so dedicatedly... the government could have terminated our services with a ‘thank you’ remark, but pointing fingers at our performance and raking up the issue of our efficiency has not gone down well with us. Col Balbir Singh (Retd), Ex-GOG
Nearly 400 GoGs from Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts participated in the protest. The ex-servicemen did not demand restoration of the scheme, but their only grouse was with the “parting comments”.
Col Balbir Singh (retd), who has served as GoG tehsil head, Jalandhar-1, said: “We were performing our duties so dedicatedly. If the government was to terminate our services, it was free to do so. It could have been done with a ‘thank you’ remark also but pointing fingers at our performance and raking up the issue of our efficiency has not gone down well with us”.
He added, “The AAP government hardly took our services. Ever since they came to power, our portal remained non-functional. Our reporting was not being taken. Officials were not calling meetings with us which had been a norm earlier. We were called the ‘eyes and ears of the government’ by the Congress. We were trusted with our reports. Our GoGs oversaw all development works in villages. The new government has not been able to point out to any corruption in village development works which we were overseeing.”
The ex-servicemen who participated in the protest said, “We were being paid Rs 11,000 as honorarium a month, out of which we were spending nearly Rs 6,000-7,000 a month on fuel to move around and check various ongoing projects in the cluster of villages which we were overseeing. Like the way, we had protected the country with all our might, we were also equally vigilant to check any corruption taking place in Punjab and reporting the same on a daily basis. Such remarks against us were uncalled-for.”
Congress MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh also joined the GoGs during their protest and expressed his support to them. He appreciated their work in the last five years and thanked them all.
Later, the GoGs led by district chief Maj Gen Balwinder Singh presented a memorandum to the government through Deputy Commissioner Jaspreet Singh seeking an apology for the remarks made against them.
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