Punjab politician perches on tree, demands Badal come

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Old 17-Apr-2011
Punjab politician perches on tree, demands Badal come

ZIRAKPUR (Punjab): High drama prevailed at a village near this Punjab town Friday with a local politician climbing up a tree and refusing to come down till Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal personally came to listen to his grievances.

Avtar Singh Nagla, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2007 state assembly elections, climbed up a eucalyptus tree in Nagla village and all efforts of the police and administration to convince him to come down failed.

He was still perched atop the tree at 11 p.m. "It is my desperate attempt to make my voice heard. I will not come down till Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal himself come here and listen to my grievances. They are sitting in AC offices and are least bothered about common man," said Nagla here.

"Now I want to talk face to face with Badal. I was left with no other option," he added. Nagla had climbed the tree after making full preparations as he was carrying water bottles and eatables with him. As Nagla refused to come down even after sunset, halogen lights were installed around the tree and a heavy police force was deployed in the area.

About the reason behind this extreme step, Nagla said: "The state government had given several acres of land here on lease to a paper mill company so as to provide employment to the villagers. But the mill owners sold the land to a property dealer at very high prices. I want that land back."

Officials said that they were trying to convince Nagla to come down. "He has refused to come down and adamant over his demand of meeting the chief minister. He is talking about an old matter of 1971. I have directed the officials to look into it," Dera Bassi Sub-Divisional Magistrate Puneet Goyal told IANS.

Nagla in Mohali district, located on Chandigarh-Ambala highway near Zirakpur town, is around 15 km from Chandigarh.

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