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Argument with MC Commissioner results in fire official’s suspension

A fire officer entered into an argument with MC Commissioner Sonali Giri during a mock drill at the Municipal Corporation’s Ranjit Avenue office that resulted in his suspension on Wednesday.Besides issuing suspension orders of Sub Fire Officer Surinder Singh, the MC Commissioner also issued a show cause notice to Additional Divisional Fire Officer (ADFO) Kashmir Singh.The fire services has been observing the fire safety week in the memory of firemen, who were killed in the Ludhiana fire incident, so a public awareness programme was scheduled at the District Fire Office, Town Hall, where an exhibition was also organised.MC Commissioner Sonali Giri called the fire officials to perform a mock drill at the MC head office at Ranjit Avenue. The drill started at around 12:15 pm in the presence of Giri. The fire personnel raised the alarm and asked the office staff to leave the office immediately. Since the staff knew that it was a mock drill, most of them were reluctant to leave their desks or cabins.At this, Sonali Giri expressed her dissatisfaction and grilled the fire officials. Sub Fire Officer (SFO) Surinder Singh reportedly said to Giri that she was humiliating the fire officials. Surinder Singh claimed that MC officials didn’t even recognise the firemen as their staff. “The safety week is meant to make the people aware and we have been doing it at Town Hall. MC Commissioner called us on a short notice and expected a perfect performance which was not possible. She humiliated us,” said Surinder.The sub-fire officer also asked the MC Commissioner to “take action whatever she could”. Following this, the MC Commissioner issued his suspension orders.Paramjit Singh, president of the fire brigade employees union, condemned the action of MC Commissioner.