Tough action: First FIR in Punjab, farmers booked for burning stubble detain admn team
The stubble burning was detected through satellite images and the Lehra sub-divisional magistrate sent a three-member team.punjab Updated: Oct 17, 2017 10:55 IST
Even as chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said no case was being registered against farmers for burning crop residue, the police on Sunday booked six farmers for burning paddy stubble and violating the orders of the district administration.
“With 75% of the 19.7 million tonne of paddy straw generated in Punjab every year, the problem has assumed dangerous proportions.”
In the first case in the state, the police booked Dev Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Sukha Singh, Gurcharan, Mitthu Singh and Lal Singh of Bakhora Kalan village near Moonak in Sangrur district for setting paddy strew on fire on October 9.
The stubble burning was detected through satellite images and the Lehra sub-divisional magistrate sent a three-member team, including a patwari and block development officer at Bakhora village. But farmers allegedly detained the team and continued burning the crop residue. The case was registered on the statement of patwari Balvir Singh at the Moonak police station.
“The farmers were collectively burning paddy residue in Dev’s fields and detained administration team. No arrest has been made so far,” investigating officer Sukhwinder Singh said.
The farmers have been booked under Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than 10 persons) 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Farmers, however, say the technologies available for the management of stubble are not affordable. “Farmers will burn stubble and we will protest against the FIR,” said Janak Singh, district general secretary of the BKU (Ugrahan).
Deputy commissioner APS Virk said that action has been taken as per law. “We sympathise with farmers, but it is the question of law and order. There is a need to make farmers aware about environment issues.” Virk said.
With 75% of the 19.7 million tonne of paddy straw generated in Punjab every year, the problem has assumed dangerous proportions, leading to loss of organic material for soil, degradation of air quality and high SPM level.
AAP supports farmers, seek aid
BATHINDA: Coming in support of farmers on stubble burning, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday asked the state government to provide aid to tillers for managing paddy straw.
Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljidner Kaur, Rupinder Kaur Ruby from Bathinda (rural) and Jagdev Singh Kamalu from Maur submitted a memorandum to the Bathinda deputy commissioner Diprava Lakra saying that the state government should provide ₹6,000 per acre to farmers for handling straw without burning it.
Meanwhile, two AAP MLAs Nazar Singh Manshahia (Mansa) and Budh Ram (Budhalada) blamed the state government for its failure to control pollution. They also asked the Punjab government to implement the guidelines of National Green Tribunal wherein it has instructed the government to assist farmers in utilising the crop residue.