Government staffers in Janakpur stage protest on Monday against the alleged manhandling of secretary on Sunday by the provincial minister Bijay Yadav. They tied black armbands at work on Monday. They have given the Province 2 Chief Minister Mohammad Lalbabu Raut 24 hours to take action against the minister. Photo: Mithilesh Yadav/Republica
LAHAN, Jan 15: Various labor unions on Monday submitted a joint memorandum to Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut, demanding action against the province's Financial Affairs and Planning Minister Bijay Yadav, who reportedly beat Secretary Bidyanath Jha of the provincial Ministry of Forest, Tourism, Environment and Industry on Sunday.
In the memo, the unions have given a 24-hour ultimatum to the government to take action against Minister Yadav. Protesting against the incident, government employees in the province organized demonstrations wearing black armbands to pressurize the government for timely action. Most of the works of the provincial government were affected due to the protests on Monday.
Terming the incident shameful, Bechan Mahato, section chief of the province's Ministry of Forest, said Minister Yadav's act has greatly weakened the morale of the employees. He warned that the protests would continue until the minster was punished. He further threatened to organize armed protests if the demand was not fulfilled within the ultimatum.
“If the minister wasn't satisfied with his (secretary Jha's) works, there are many alternatives to take action. But thrashing a civil servant is not the way and the law shouldn't exclude the minister for his wrongdoing,” said Mahato. “Until the minister is booked, we will not feel safe to return to our work.
According to him, Secretary Jha is currently undergoing treatment at Janakpur Care Medical Hospital since Sunday night.
The victim Jha, speaking with the media on Sunday, said he was beaten by the minister for not selecting non-governmental organizations of the minister's choice to implement the micro-enterprise program for poverty alleviation.
He claimed that Minister Yadav summoned him to his office and beat him up. “He slapped me and kicked me in the hip and back,” he added.
The provincial government called an emergency meeting on Sunday and formed a probe committee to investigate the incident. The committee is being led by Internal Affairs and Law Minister Gyanendra Yadav.
The internal affairs minister has already begun his investigation by meeting both Minster Yadav and Secretary Jha and said the truth about the incident would be out within three days.