The Hariau village farmers led by Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) blocked the main road for more than three hours and burnt the effigy of state government outside the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) office, here on Friday. They were protesting against the snapped electricity connections and arrest of 21 farmers during a district administration's drive in the Hariau village on August 6.
Agitating farmers warned the state government to release the arrested farmers and reconnect the snapped electricity connections of the village as soon as possible. "Otherwise government should be ready to face the brunt of the farmers as now we have been left with no other option than to hold another state-level protest outside the mini-secretariat on September 7, to press for our demands," the protesters said.
"A meeting with various representatives of around 17 unions was held in Ludhiana and we have decided to intensify the protest. Almost a month has passed, but yet the state government has failed to address our demands," Buta Singh, state president of Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) said.
While addressing the protest, farmers claimed that 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.
"The village panchayat even had a stay order and the Supreme Court had stayed the auction of the 200 acre village land. But the administration reeling under the pressure from the ruling party leaders tried to auction the land," a protester claimed.
More than 60 families from the village along with BKU activists have been on chain hunger strike against the arrest of 21 farmers and district administration's drive over taking possession of the controversial land in Hariau village at Patran since August 6, outside the mini secretariat, demanding the immediate release of arrested farmers and the handing over the confiscated land to them.
The protesters said that they have been practicing agricultural activities on more than 200 acres of land for the last five decades as majority of them had migrated from Pakistan during the partition and settled in the Hariau village.
"But the administration took the possession over land without even informing the farmers and forced farmers to come on the road," they claimed.