Lahore: Services Act violation: 100 PCS officers arrested
LAHORE, March 18: Over 100 provincial services officers were arrested from the Civil Secretariat here on Friday after they gathered there upon receiving the news of the arrest of some colleagues distributing pamphlets carrying their demands.
They were booked for the alleged violation of Essential Services Act, disrupting public peace and official business.
They included PCS Officers Association President Rai Manzoor Nasir and other office-bearers, including Dr Shoaib Tariq Warraich and Saghir Ahmad Shahid. Four women section officers were also arrested.
Sources said that the provincial government had decided to suspend 20 main activists of the association, including its president, and to take disciplinary action against them and all those arrested.
The PCS Officers Association had earlier announced to observe a strike from March 21 to press for its demands.
The official circles had nevertheless said that most of the demands had been met and there was no justification in observing the strike.
The problem started on Friday after some provincial officers distributed pamphlets and were nabbed by police. Over 100 PSC, PMS and PSS officers and some clerks in the secretariat later reached there and protested.
A spokesman of the Punjab government said that some provincial officers were taken into custody “for threatening the staff, locking the offices and interfering in the official work.”
According to the spokesman, some provincial officers tried to distribute pamphlets of illegal strike. When security officials stopped them, they called for their colleagues, threatened the secretariat staff with dire consequences, locked their rooms and forced them to support them. This situation forced the authorities to take some officers into its custody for taking action against them as per law. After that, the work continued in the secretariat as per routine, the spokesman concluded.
The provincial officers denied the charge and said they were peaceful. Their president and other office-bearers could not be contacted. The arrested were shifted to various police stations or unknown places in the evening.
A press release issued by the PCS Association said that none of the arrested would apply for bail, and the remaining from all over the province would court arrest on Saturday.