Punjab farmer bodies hold protest, seek withdrawal of cases against farmers for burning stubble

The protesting farmers, who also demanded a long-lasting solution for paddy straw, brought stubble-laden trolleys to several offices of deputy commissioners and sub-divisional magistrates.

Published: 20th November 2023 08:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2023 08:37 PM   |  A+A-

Members of various farmer organisations raise slogans during a protest against the Punjab government against action over stubble burning issue in Patiala on Monday, November 20, 2023. (Photo | PTI)


AMRITSAR/LUDHIANA/HOSHIARPUR: Several farmer bodies in Punjab on Monday held protests at the offices of deputy commissioners and sub-divisional magistrates at many places, seeking withdrawal of cases registered against farmers for burning stubble.

The call for the four-hour protest was given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (non-political) and 18 other farmer bodies.

The agitating farmers demanded the withdrawal of legal actions, including registration of FIRs and rollback of the fine imposed on farmers for burning crop residue.

They also demanded an increase in sugarcane rates and fair compensation for land acquisition under the Bharatmala projects.

In Moga, a group of farmers, who were bringing stubble in tractor-trolleys, said they were stopped from entering the DC office complex for staging a 'dharna'.

One of the farmers even lied in front of a police vehicle, demanding they be allowed to go to the DC complex.

"Where should we take this stubble?" one of the protesters asked.

The protesters, while condemning the legal action against farmers for burning straw, said 75-80 percent of pollution was caused by industry and vehicles.

But the action was being taken against farmers, they said.

In Sangrur, the protesting farmers brought stubble in their tractor-trolleys and parked their vehicles near the DC office.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said demonstrations were held at 34 places in the state. He demanded that penalties imposed on farmers be withdrawn and sought a long-lasting solution for managing stubble.

In Ludhiana, protesting farmers were not allowed to enter the city.

Two groups of farmers were stopped at Verka Milk Plant Chowk and near the Sangowal village, respectively. Later, a delegation of farmers reached the mini secretariat and presented a memorandum to the additional deputy commissioner.

In Hoshiarpur, farmers under the banner of Azad Kisan Committee Doaba staged a 'dharna' against punitive actions towards farmers involved in burning stubble.

Led by Harpal Singh Sangha, the president of Azad Kisan Committee Doaba, the farmers gathered in front of the district administrative complex.

They submitted a memorandum to the Hoshiarpur DC outlining their concerns and demands.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the reasons behind the spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November.

Police on Sunday had said that over 930 FIRs had been registered against farmers for burning stubble since November 8, besides, a fine of Rs 1.67 crore had been imposed in 7,405 cases and red entries were made in the revenue records of 340 farmers.

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