Punjab Police lathi charged the protesting farmers at Lambi tehsil in Muktsar district. More than 100 farmers have been booked in different FIRs.
Punjab Police Monday (March 28) night lathi charged the protesting farmers at Lambi tehsil in Muktsar district of Punjab. Seven farmers were seriously injured. More than 100 have been booked in different FIRs.
The protesting farmers, under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), were demanding payment of the long-pending compensation for the damage to their cotton crops caused by pink bollworms. The demand was raised first in September last year. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had promised the farmers that it would meet their demands after coming into power.
Gurpal Singh Singhewala, president of BKU (Ugrahan), accused the administration of not paying attention to their plight.
“There has been massive damage to the farm produce because of pink bollworms… However, hardly any farmer has been given compensation till date. We had been staging dharnas since September last year, but to no avail,” Gurpal Singh said.
“On February 7 this year, we staged a dharna outside the tehsil office as farmers from six villages had been included in the girdwari report, while the damage had happened in over 30 villages in Lambi. Additional deputy commissioner Rajdeep Kaur had, at the time, assured to include the rest of the villages too, but nothing has happened so far. So, we started another dharna on March 28 outside the tehsil office. The tehsildar was not allowed to go home but around 11.30 pm, the police lathicharged the protesters to let the tehsildar out, and later booked us,” The Indian Express quoted Gurpal Singh.
When the Punjab farmers were protesting at Delhi borders for over a year, the Aam Aadmi Party supported the protesting farmers and took measures to ensure the protest stretches. It encouraged a lavish lifestyle for the protesting farmers at the Delhi borders.
Deputy commissioner (Muktsar) Harpreet Singh Sudan told The Indian Express that protesting farmers sat on a dharna at the tehsil office and demanded that “farmers of 30 villages who grew cotton should be compensated irrespective of crop loss”. “We asked them to fill a ‘J form’ which can substantiate crop production of two years and hence loss can be assessed, but they refused to fill any form. As our employees were wrongfully detained by them, mild force was used to bring them out,” he further added.
Bhupinder Singh, a farmer from Channu village, said, “Earlier the Aam Aadmi Party had been condemning the SAD and the Congress for using force on protesters. Look what they have done now. They lathi charged the farmers, injured them and even booked them. We thought that it was a kisana di sarkar but they are acting just like the previous governments.”
On Tuesday (March 29), the AAP government in Punjab had reportedly barred the entry of journalists in the venue to prevent them from covering Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s programme.