Farmers under the banner of Border Area Sangarsh Committee protested outside the BSF headquarters at Attari road in Amritsar on Thursday.
The protest was to oppose Centre’s decision that allows BSF to use its powers in the area up to 50 km in Punjab.
During the dharna, farmer leader Rattan Singh Ajnala from the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, said: “Border Security Force has iron fencing with Pakistan. It is not able to stop the smuggling from such a strongly fenced border. It has area less than half kilometre from border under its watch. If it can’t keep check on such a small area then how can we expect BSF to look after 50 km.”
He added, “Border farmers who have land across the fence or inside fence are already facing harassment from BSF. What will happen when BSF would have jurisdiction on a much bigger area? It is clear that such a decision has nothing to do with keeping check on smuggling. It is a serious design to control the state. How common people would deal with two law enforcement agencies. On one side there is Punjab Police and on other there would be BSF. It would crush common people.”
Farmers chanted slogans against the central government and demanded that Rs 10,000 per acre compensation for the last five years should be released to the farmers who own land across the barbed wire fence.
Farmer leaders appealed to all to attend the ‘Punjab Bachao’ rally on November 28 at Dana Mandi, Ludhiana. At the end of the dharna, a memorandum was handed over to BSF Assistant Commandant Karampal Singh and administration officer Naib Tehsildar Jaswinder Singh by the leaders of the farmers’ organisation.