EVEN AS farmers have been organising protest rallies demanding bonus for not burning stubble, some of them have now started burning stubble and are even making videos and posting it on social media. One such incident happened in Shekhupura village in Bathinda where farmers gathered under the banner of Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) and BKU (Sidhupur) to burn stubble. They gathered in the fields where farmers raised slogans against the Punjab Government.
Resham Singh Yatri, farmer union leader, said, “After harvesting of crop, stubble burning was done. We all gathered in this village to support farmers. We have burnt 25 acres of land in full public view, made videos that are now on social media.”
He said, “The government is threatening us to file FIRs against us and fine us. This is our answer.” Section 144 had been imposed in Bathinda which states that gathering of four or more persons is not allowed.
In Ludhiana, Harmeet Singh Kadian, from BKU (Kadian) group said, “We have submitted memorandum at DC office seeking bonus for management of paddy stubble. Harmeet Singh however, said, “People should stop burning crackers on Dussehra and Diwali, too. They also cause air pollution. Why all the stress on stubble burning. The NGT is silent about cracker pollution.”
When contacted, Gurditt Singh, chief agriculture officer, Bathinda, said, “Our job is to make farmers aware of the harmful effects of stubble burning and we are doing that. Majority of the farmers understand the problems. But a few union leaders are instigating some farmers to burn stubble.”
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