Farmers warn of agitation over stubble-burning FIRs

Farmers warn of agitation over stubble-burning FIRs

Farmers hold a protest in Jaito on Thursday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 14

Demanding cancellation of the FIRs registered for stubble burning, farmers in large numbers assembled in front of the Tehsil Complex in Jaito town of Faridkot on Thursday.

The protesting farmers said in case the fines, imposed upon them by the Punjab Pollution Control Board, and marking of the red circles on their revenue record for stubble burning were not undone, they would start a state-level massive protest.

Amid reports of the Supreme Court asking the state government to support farmers in managing stubble and the state government agreeing to compensate those who haven’t burnt stubble at the rate of Rs 2,500 per acre, the protesting farmers said they had been demanding Rs 9,000 per acre for long as bonus so that they weren’t compelled to burn stubble. But the state government did not pay heed to our demand, alleged Jagjit Singh Dallewal, state president of BKU Ekta (Sidhupur) farmers’ union.

The state government is forcing sarpanches and panches to get criminal cases registered against those who burn stubble. “These arm-twisting moves of the state government have been spoiling the relations and adding to bitterness and rivalry in the villages which is not good for society.

The government should desist from such acts of creating a divide in the villages,” said Dallewal.

Last week, patwaris (village level revenue officers) had also protested against the district police’s move of naming them as complainant in the FIRs against farmers in stubble-burning cases. By naming us as complainant in the FIRs, the police and the district administration were spoiling our relations with growers, they said. “The farmers, nominated as accused in these FIRS, are annoyed with us,” rued patwaris.

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