Continuing with their chain hunger strike and protest outside the deputy commissioner's office for the fourth consecutive day here on Monday, activists of Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) threatened to launch state-level protests against the 'dictatorial' attitude of the state government.
While addressing the mediapersons here, activists said they have called a state-level meeting in Ludhiana on August 16 and have asked representatives of various farmers' bodies to take part in the protests and support their demands.
"We will decide the further course of action against the state government's lukewarm response after the meeting. If our demands are not fulfilled by the authorities till then, we will start state-level protests," Buta Singh, state president of BKU said.
Opposing the arrest of 21 farmers on charges of attempt to murder, following a clash that occurred between farmers and administration over the eviction of 200 acres of panchayat land at Hariau village in Patran on Thursday, the BKU members had launched an infinite chain hunger strike and protest outside the deputy commissioner's office.
BKU members said the administration forcibly took control of the land and sealed all the residential houses and snapped electricity connections by removing the transformers during the drive, forcing residents to come on the roads.
More than 60 families of the village have joined the protest. These families have been practicing agricultural activities on more than 200 acres of land for the last five decades. A majority of these families had migrated from Pakistan during the partition and settled here.
The Punjab police had lathicharged the farmers when they opposed the administration's drive of taking over of the panchayat land. The villagers had retaliated by pelting stones on police, civil administration and electricity board officials.
Later, the police arrested 21 farmers and booked more than 100 unknown farmers under section 307 attempts to murder, for allegedly using sharp alleged weapons, pelting stones against administration and police officials on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the members demanded that the administration should hand over the confiscated land to the farmers and give compensation to the families for demolished houses and other things, including electric motors and their crops.
"We will not stop our protest and hunger strike against the authoritative attitude of the district administration until our demands are fulfilled by them," the BKU state president added.