Mansa DC office working hit, as farmers seek Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia for woman
Deputy commissioner Mohinder Pal unable to attend office at the district administrative complex (DAC) since activists of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) laid siege to the secretariatUpdated: Oct 31, 2020, 18:21 IST
Bathinda Public grievance redressal system in Mansa district has been severely hit for three weeks with deputy commissioner Mohinder Pal unable to attend office at the district administrative complex (DAC) since activists of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) laid siege to the secretariat. The union began the protest after an 80-year-old woman Tej Kaur, of Haryana, died after losing her balance on tracks during the ongoing farmers’ agitation on October 9.
Due to this blockade, public dealing with the administrative head of Mansa district has been minimal. The senior bureaucrat avoids stepping out of the camp office or the official DC residence, as a large number of protesters is also on dharna there.
BKU district president Ram Singh Bhaini Bagha said on Saturday the agitation would continue until the state government accepted their demands of ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh, government job for a family member and waiver of Kaur’s family’s debts.
“The district administration has offered a compensation of Rs 3 lakh that we have rejected. Her family has an outstanding loan of Rs 26 lakh, which must be waived. We will continue the agitation,” said Bagha.
Union activists are on round-the-clock dharna at the main gate of the DAC, BKU supporters gherao DC camp office from 11 am-4 pm daily, said the union leader.
Mansa DC added authorities were sympathetic, but the administration had limitations to demands it could meet.
“The woman was a registered voter at Ratia in Fatehabad district of Haryana where she lived with one of her four sons. Her sons also reside at Bare village in Mansa and they collectively have taken loans of about Rs 30 lakh. She had no financial liability and was drawing old-age pension from the Haryana government. We are trying to convince protesters to end their agitation,” said DC.
“Protesters blocked entrance to the DC camp office from October 19. I could not step out of my residence for six days. Even now, I drive out only if there are a fewer number of protesters. The administration does not want to get into confrontation mode with BKU supporters,” he added.
Sources said the general public has not been able to get their works done with the DC and additional DC (general) not available. “Due to a dharna outside the camp office, visitors cannot be allowed to meet the DC staff for security reasons. Traffic on road has also been disrupted,” said a source.
Mansa SSP Surendra Lamba said movement of vehicles in the DAC had become troublesome, and even he was finding it challenging to visit the secretariat. Lamba said he visited the office on fewer occasions this week.
“Due to the sensitivity, we are trying to pursue the BKU to end dharna. The administration awarded Rs 3 lakh compensation to the family of a farmer Jugraj Singh from Gurdi village, who died of a heart attack, while sitting on an indefinite ‘rail roko’ agitation against farm laws in Mansa on October 17. The issue is being handled at the government level,” said the SSP.