In no hurry to lift dharna: Zira protesters : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

In no hurry to lift dharna: Zira protesters

Will wait for CM’s written orders on closure of ethanol plant at Mansurwala, says Sanjha Morcha

In no hurry to lift dharna: Zira protesters

Members of the Sanjha Morcha and officials address the media at Mansurwala in Ferozepur.



Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, January 17

It’s once bitten twice shy for the protesters who are seemingly in no hurry to lift the dharna notwithstanding Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s announcement to close the ethanol plant situated at Mansurwala village in Zira.

No formal celebrations

  • There were no “dhols” or distribution of sweets. A protester said they did not wish to formally celebrate the occasion as they lost their companions during the protest
  • “We lost several companions, including Rajvir Singh, Amarjit Singh and Buta Singh. We don’t feel like having any formal celebrations,” said a Sanja Morcha member

HC-constituted panel visits site

  • Before the CM announced to shut the plant, a three-member panel constituted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to ascertain financial losses incurred by the unit visited Mansurwala
  • The panel comprising Justice RK Nehru (retd), advocate Babbar Khan and Excise and Taxation Additional Commissioner Viraj Tidke met the farmers near the protest venue

PAC demands resignation of Seechewal

  • Kapil Dev, a member of the Public Action Committee (PAC), questioned the credibility of RS MP Balbir Singh Seechewal and sought his resignation
  • “Now, the CM has acknowledged that the plant was damaging environment. Why did Seechewal, who came here as a part of the NGT monitoring team, give a clean chit to the factory?” asked Kapil
  • Seechewal, however, hailed the decision of the government and tweeted that it would send a strong message to industrial establishments in the state, which were polluting environment

long fight finally pays off

July 22, 2022: Residents of Mansurwala complain that during the drilling of a borewell near gurdwara, “liquor” like toxic fluid started coming out of the ground

July 24: Villagers sit on a dharna in front of the ethanol plant

August 18: A three-member NGT monitoring team visits the plant and collects samples

October 20: Following a petition filed by Malbros International, the High Court directs the state government to deposit Rs 5 crore with its registry within a week

November 29: The High Court directs the government to deposit another Rs 15 crore with the registry and asks the Ferozepur DC to file an affidavit giving details of the protesters

December 15: On a complaint of PAC, the NGT issues a notice to the Chief Secretary, directing him to file a response within two months and to appear on next date of hearing on February 23

December 16: 11 members of the Sanjha Morcha meet CM Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh over the issue

December 17: Minister Kuldip Singh Dhaliwala arrives at the protest site to announce the decisions taken by the CM. However, the protesters refuse to relent

December 23: Three fact-finding panels constituted by the government — on health analysis, animal husbandary and soil testing — visit the site, but the protesters refuse to join them

January 16, 2023: A three-member panel set up by the High Court to ascertain financial losses incurred by the ethanol plant reaches Ferozepur

Protesting for the past six months, agitators announced that they had called a meeting of all farmer and labour unions on Thursday at 11 am to take a final call on lifting their dharna.

Members of the Sanjha Morcha who had been sprearheading the protest said they would wait for the written orders of the CM in this regard, besides demanding that the state government should immediately withdraw all the cases filed against them during the course of agitation.

“We do not want a repeat of Delhi. Farmers lifted their protest without getting anything in written. Later, we realised that the Centre was not fulfilling our demands,” said Sarpanch Gurmel Singh of Mansurwala village.

The protesters felt elated as the news broke about the state government’s decision to shut the ethanol plant. They raised slogans of “Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Shri Akal” and thanked Mann. “CM Mann has become our hero today,” said a protester.

Roman Brar, a member of the Sanjha Morcha, said, “We started this protest on July 24. We withstood heavy rains, scorching heat and subsequently faced extreme bone-chilling conditions. We were determined not to give up till achieving our objective.”

Jagtar Singh, another member of the morcha, said, “Groundwater got contaminated, cattle died, soil fertility reduced and locals succumbed due to various ailments in the area. We were just fighting for clean air and water. Finally, our voice has been heard.”

#bhagwant mann #Zira Agitation


Top News

Curtains on campaigning for 7th and final phase of Lok Sabha election 2024

Curtains on high-decibel campaigning for 7th and final phase of Lok Sabha election 2024

States going to polls in last phase include Punjab, Himachal...

Sexual abuse: Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna returns to country, arrested by SIT at airport

Sexual abuse: Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna returns to country, arrested by SIT at airport

A large number of policemen were deployed there to ensure th...

PM Modi begins ‘dhyan’ at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

PM Modi begins ‘dhyan’ at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit Th...

Mines explode after forest fire along LoC in J-K’s Poonch; blaze engulfs forests of Samba and Jammu

Mines explode after forest fire along LoC in J-K’s Poonch; blaze engulfs forests of Samba and Jammu

Locals allege some miscreants are triggering fire due to som...

Slew of fires keep forest staff on toes in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan and Kasauli

Slew of fires keep forest staff on toes in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan and Kasauli

Forest fire halts Kalka-Shimla train 15 km before its destin...


Cities

View All