Tribune News Service
Sangrur, November 5
Several officers, including a naib tehsildar and 21 patwaris, are in illegal confinement of farmers at Bahadurpur village in the district since Thursday morning.
As many as 21 patwaris and 15 panchayat secretaries along with Naib Tehsildar (NT) and Block Development and Panchayat Officer are among those in ‘confinement’.
They had gone to the village to get released two of their officers, but without any proper security.
Sources said when patwari Rakesh Kumar and a secretary went to fields in morning to check stubble burning, farmers gheraoed them. They later also ‘detained’ other officers when they went to get the duo released. It has impacted the functioning of rural development and revenue departments in Sangrur block.
“We have confined patwaris, panchayat secretaries, naib tehsildar and BDPO as they have been harassing farmers. When government is unwilling to help us in managing stubble without burning, officers should not harass us,” said Jasdeep Singh, district president of Kirti Kisan Union.
Patwaris and secretaries have been sitting amidst farmers, as the latter raise slogans against Punjab government. Despite repeated requests of officers, farmers have not released them while the number of protesting farmers has increased as more have joined in by the evening.
“All 21 patwaris of Sangrur tehsil have reached here to get Rakesh Kumar released and we later called Sangrur naib tehsildar K K Mittal. Farmers are not allowing us to leave and they are also misbehaving with us,” said Didar Singh, Sangrur district president of Patwari Union.
Sangrur BDPO Lenin Garg said he along with 15 PSs has been in illegal confinement and trying to convince farmers to let them go as they were implementing the directions of the government.
“We have nothing personal against any farmer and are working as per the directions of the government. Farmers should understand the importance of clean environment and shun stubble burning,” said Garg.
Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Ramvir said farmers were making announcements from public address system that they would make Sangrur SDM to burn stubble if he comes to meet them.
“Patwaris, PSs and other senior officers should not have gone to Bahadurpur as it has now created a problem for us. Farmers should understand that officers are only working on the directions of the Supreme Court to prevent stubble burning. We trying our best to convince farmers to let officers go,” the DC added.