Ferozepur, December 26
Breaking the stalemate again, members of the Sanjha Morcha (Zira) finally agreed to join the probe committees tomorrow. It will help the panels to find out the facts about the allegations the members had levelled against the ethanol plant over the contamination of groundwater, deaths of cattle and spread of various diseases due to pollution generated by the plant.
Report likely to be submitted in 10 days
- The government has set up a fresh committee to examine water contamination and probe charges against the ethanol plant in Zira
- The DC has been asked to coordinate with the new panel so that a report can be submitted to the government within 10 days
- The panel has been set up in place of the Punjab Pollution Control Board team, which had already conducted its probe
The decision came following a marathon meeting of the Sanjha Morcha members, farm unions and other protesting organisations with the top officers at Zira today.
Addressing mediapersons, Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, Jaskaran Singh, who has been acting as an interlocutor on behalf of the state government, said most of the issues had been settled and the morcha had assured them of joining the probe panels at 11 am tomorrow. The joint panels comprising officials and members of the morcha would dig out the facts.
As per information, a delegation of the morcha leaders, including Gurmail Singh Sarpanch, Jagtar Singh Gill, Roman Brar along with Nirbhay Singh Dhudike, state president of the Kirti Kisan Union, Shingara Singh from the Bharti Kisan Union (Ugraha), Balwinder Singh Zira, BKU (Krantikari), Iqbal Sigh Sappanwali, district president, BKU (Sidhupur), held a closed-door discussion before taking the final decision.
Earlier also, the morcha had decided to lift the dharna and join the probe panels, however, in the absence of any consensus, they had to retract.
Gurmail said they had been given assurance that the firearms licences of protesters, which had been cancelled earlier, would be restored, besides all FIRs be cancelled.
“Regarding two new committees, which we had recommended to constitute, the administration will write to Chief Secretary VK Janjua, recommending him to constitute these committees,” said the morcha spokesperson, adding that the administration had also promised that the “fards” (property documents), which had been attached with the documents submitted in the High Court, would also be given back to them. Meanwhile, the protesters have been asked to submit a written application in the Deputy Commissioner’s office regarding the restoration of the cancelled firearms licences tomorrow.
“We have dropped tomorrow’s state-level protest and now will cooperate with the fact-finding panels,” said Gurmail, adding that the members would have a meeting with the panels at Mansurwala.
Both, Amrit Singh, DC, and Kanwardeep Kaur, SSP, confirmed the developments. The DC said the members recommended by the morcha would have a meeting with panels.
The SSP and Arun Sharma, ADC (Dev), will facilitate the joint meeting of both groups.
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