PWD minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon faced embarrassing moments as villagers tried to disrupt a function at Maisar Khana village in this district, where he was distributing cheques of compensation to farmers for the loss in cotton crop.
Fearing a protest, police had taken farm leader Darshan Singh in preventive custody before Sekhon’s visit. While Sekhon was distributing the cheques, farmer activist Jarnail Singh stood up and started questioning Sekhon over the amount of compensation.
Shingara Singh Mann, district president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugarahan), claimed that the farmer was arguing with the minister for distributing the “wrong” cheques of compensation for paddy crop instead of cotton. Mann said the police detained him immediately, but villagers started protesting following which they released him. Later, villagers raised slogans against Sekhon and the Punjab government, but the minister had left by then. Police had a tough time controlling the situation as villagers also protested against the police.
Sekhon later said he did not face any protest till he was in the village. He said, “A farmer questioned me for distributing the ‘wrong’ cheques. I have told the officials to look into this so that farmers could be given the right cheques.” Sekhon said he had visited Maur Kalan, Jethuke and Bhai Bakhtaur villages and had received a positive response from villagers.
On November 14, farmers had protested against Sekhon’s visit to Khokhar village in this district. Police had lathicharged them and eight of them were injured.