Tarn Taran: Farmers belonging to various kisan organisations, including the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, on Monday demanded the arrest of agriculture minister Jathedar Tota Singh for his alleged involvement in the sale of spurious pesticides to cotton growers of the Malwa belt.
At a joint meeting of eight farmers organisations held at nearby Rasoolpur village, farmer leader Shawinder Singh Chutala moved a resolution demanding the minister’s arrest.
The resolution, which was passed during the meeting, noted that suspended director, agriculture, Mangal Singh Sandhu was not the only suspect in the pesticide scam as he allegedly acted on the minister’s orders. Hence, both the minister and the director should be put behind bars for bringing untold misery to the farming community as well as the labour class.
The meeting chalked out the programme for the farmers’ proposed ‘rail roko’ agitation against the government on October 7 and 8. The protest pertains to the losses that basmati growers have to bear for the distress sale of PUSA-1509 variety as well as the loss of the cotton crop.
The kisan leaders demanded that the rates of PUSA-1509 and PUSA-1121 varieties be fixed at Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,000 per quintal, respectively. They are also seeking compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for cotton growers and Rs 20,000 per family to affected labourers of the cotton belt.