Municipal employees at Andheri went on a strike on Wednesday to protest the assault on a water department engineer by a group of people on Tuesday. They are now demanding security for water department officials across the city.
The protestors, who were agitating against the water shortage in the city, attacked engineer Tarang Kumar who was present in the water department at that time. They assaulted and blackened his face with ink. Angry ward staffers announced stop work on Wednesday and met the municipal commissioner Swadhin Kshatriya later in the day and demanded security for civic officials.
“We cannot work like this. With the water scarcity in the city, such instances may occur often. There should be some way out to counter such attacks,” said Sainath Rajadhyaksh, general secretary of Brihanmumbai Municipal Engineers Association Union. The civic chief has assured the engineers’ union that they will take the matter to a higher level to resolve the issue.
Senior officials from the water department will be meeting top police officers to study the requirement of the police force. “Even the police department is short staffed. They will first assess the exact security requirement. Priority will be given to those wards where the water crisis is acute,” said a senior civic official.
Engineers from the water department were supported by AGNI, a non-governmental organisation. “We have extended our support to these engineers as they are being made scapegoats. Why don’t these so-called activists try such tactics with corporators who are allegedly involved in water tanker mafias?” said James John, AGNI member from Andheri.
LAW FOR DOCTORS
The state has passed The Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2009 to book people who attack doctors and other medical workers. Municipal engineers want a similar law.