Police resorted to cane-charge around midnight to free revenue officials held hostage for nine hours by cotton growers demanding crop relief
Seven farm union activists sustained minor injuries after police resorted to cane-charge around Monday midnight to free revenue officials held hostage for nine hours by growers demanding compensation for cotton crop damage due to the recent pest attack.
Also read: Punjab Revenue officers to protest amid claims of ‘hostile treatment’ by farmers
Naib tehsildar Arjinder Singh and his subordinate staff were held hostage at their office in Lambi sub-tehsil by members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) and the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union since 3pm on Monday.
Police swung into action around midnight after receiving distress calls from the officials, who had been locked in their office by the farm activists for nine hours.
When the protesters refuse to end the gherao, the police used mild force to disperse them, injuring the seven protesters. Among those undergoing treatment at the government hospital at Lambi village are BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) Muktsar president Gurpash Singh Singhewal.
Singhewal accused the revenue authorities of overlooking their compensation claims for the damage to the cotton crop due to the recent pink bollworm infestation. He said the officials were not even heeding to their pleas for cotton crop loss assessment.
On the other hand, the officials charged the unions with highhandedness and pressurising them to undertake subjective assessment of the crop damage.
Police sources said that at least nine farm union activists were booked for holding the officials hostage.
In response to the treatment meted out to the officials, the Punjab Revenue Officers Association announced boycott of work on Tuesday.