Ferozepur, December 20
Farmers owing allegiance to various farm bodies, who were on their way to a protest site at Mansurwala village in Zira, clashed with the police on Tuesday, leaving at least six police personnel injured.
8,000 Join protest against distillery
- Around 8,000 farmers joined the protest against a distillery at Mansurwala village
- Locals on a dharna for 5 months, alleging water and air pollution by distillery
Lift dharna, put forth demands, says HC
The Punjab and Haryana HC is of the opinion that the protesters can come to the court on Friday with a demand charter after vacating the spot. It said a panel could be formed to verify several factors.
Villagers, under the banner of the Sanjha Morcha, Zira, have been protesting in front of a distillery for over five months, demanding that the plant be shut down as it is allegedly polluting groundwater and causing air pollution. The farmers were on their way to Mansurwala village, 45 km from Ferozepur, when they were stopped by the police, who provided them with an alternative route.
The farmers, terming the move as a diversionary tactic, forcibly removed the barricades. In the ensuing clash, at least six cops sustained injuries. They were rushed to the Civil Hospital.
Around 8,000 farmers belonging to 39 farm unions reached here on a call given by the Sanjha Morcha, which has been spearheading the protest.
The farmers said they wanted to join the villagers’ movement and to protest the arrest of around 48 persons for blocking the national highway recently.
An official said, “We didn’t stop anyone from reaching the dharna site. But the farmers insisted on using the blocked route.”
The police later allowed them access to the route and the situation was brought under control, he said.
A former SAD MLA, who has stakes in liquor business, owns the distillery. State minister Aman Arora had yesterday claimed the protest was “illegal and unjustified”.
Later in the evening, leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha held a meeting with IG Jaskaran Singh, Deputy Commissioner Amrit Singh and SSP Kanwardeep Kaur and put across their demands, including release of protesters, cancellation of FIRs and resumption of 25 arms licences revoked by the administration.