Tribune News Service
Sangrur, November 5
Several officers, including a naib tehsildar and 21 patwaris, who were in illegal confinement of farmers at Bahadurpur village in the district were released on Thursday evening.
“We have released all officers in the evening after the Sangrur SDM assured us that there would be no FIR against any farmer for stubble burning,” said Bhupinder Longowal, state convener of youth wing of Kirti Kisan Union.
As many as 21 patwaris and 15 panchayat secretaries along with naib tehsildar and Block Development and Panchayat Officer were 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 who had come to get the duo released. It impacted the functioning of rural development and revenue departments in Sangrur block.
“We confined patwaris, panchayat secretaries, naib tehsildar and BDPO as they have been harassing farmers. When the 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 were sitting amidst farmers, as the latter raised slogans against Punjab government.
“All 21 patwaris of Sangrur tehsil had reached the village to get Rakesh Kumar released. Later, we called Sangrur naib tehsildar K K Mittal,” said Didar Singh, Sangrur district president of Patwari Union.
Sangrur BDPO Lenin Garg said he along with 15 PSs were in illegal confinement and tried 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.
Earlier, Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Ramvir said farmers made 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,” the DC added.