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Even as Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has promised strict action against pesticide dealers if spurious material was found from their shops, nearly 570 shops dealing in pesticides and insecticides in Fazilka, Ferozepur and Muktsar remained closed Saturday. Shops in Fazilka had been shut on Friday as well, when FIRs against five dealers had been lodged and one person was arrested. However, the shops will be open on Sunday
Suresh Satija, president of Abohar insecticide and pesticide dealers association, said, “We had shut our shops on Friday too because agriculture officials, along with police, had raided the shops on Thursday night. We asked them to check stocks at the shops in day-time and not when the shops are closed. Dealers were called from their homes around midnight for stock checking. So, in protest, we shut our shops on Friday and in our support, on Saturday, dealers across Fazilka district, Ferozepur and Muktsar have closed their shops.”
He added, “We have been assured by DCs of respective districts that dealers will not be harassed and hence we have decided to open our shops even on Sunday for the benefit of farmers.” Sources said from now, agriculture officials will do sampling on their own along with district administration’s staff and will not take police inside the shops.
“Police will be called only in case of any emergency,” said Dr Jasbir Singh director, agriculture department, Punjab. Bunty Goyal, a union leader of pesticide dealers from Muktsar, also confirmed that the shops would be open on Sunday.