Amritsar, November 20
Farmers under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (Non-political) held a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Monday demanding better alternatives to crop residue management, stalling installation of pre-paid electricity meters and a check on rampant sale of drugs.
Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher, who led the protest, said, “The protests by 19 farmer unions that are part of the SKM were held at 22 district headquarters and 12 sub-divisional offices across the state.”
Pandher criticised measures such as cancelling of arms licences or delaying issuing of passports to farmers on the pretext of stopping the burning of crop residue. He also demanded that the environmental compensation imposed on farmers should be withdrawn. The farmer unions have also demanded that no red entry should be made in revenue records. “Instead of finding a viable solution to the problem of crop residue, the government is portraying farmers as criminals,” he said.
Pandher said the electricity department is installing pre-paid meters in case of a new electricity connection or if a meter is being replaced due to any fault. He alleged that the government is aiming to privatise the power sector and all such moves are only a step in this regard.
The farmers also demanded from the state government to fix accountability of the concerned MLA and Station House Officer (SHO) in case of a drug-related death in the area. The farmer leaders complained that sale of drugs is rampant in rural as well as city areas but the government is claiming otherwise.
Tarn Taran: On the call given by the coordination committee of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (non-political), a large number of farmers staged a dharna in front of the District Administrative Complex here on Monday. They were demanding the fulfilment of their current demands. A large number of women too participated in the dharna.
Satnam Singh Pannun, Raghbir Singh Bhangala, among others, addressed on the occasion. The leaders condemned the government for taking action against those farmers who were burning crop residue. They said the government was imposing fine, registering cases, making red entries in the record of the revenue record of the farmers concerned, cancelling passports and arms licence and depriving farmers of the facilities being extended by the government for burning the crop residue.
The leaders demanded checking drug smuggling in the state and holding responsible the MLA of the area, the Deputy Commissioner, the SSP and other officials under the jurisdiction of whose drugs were allegedly available. They demanded the closing of the projects, including the Bharat Mala under which land of farmers was being acquired.
Their other demands were: the government should not close paddy procurement as the crop was still arriving in the markets in most parts of the state. The farmers staged dharnas in front of the offices of Patti and Khadoor Sahib SDMs. They also submitted memorandums to the officials regarding the farmers' demands.
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