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Punjab revenue officers to protest amid claims of ‘hostile treatment’ by farmers

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Revenue officers in Punjab will go on an indefinite strike from today after ‘hostile’ treatment from farmers in the state’s Lambi village. On Monday, farmers reportedly held several officers hostage for over six hours. The district administration had to intervene to free them, and police lathi-charged the farmers, who were backed by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta- Ughrahan). Muktsar district president of the BKU, Gurpash Singh Singhewal, and six others were injured in and have been hospitalised.

A case has been registered against the farmers under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for keeping the state revenue officers as ‘hostages’.

Gurdev Singh Dham, the president of the officers’ association said the indefinite strike will go on as different associations of revenue staff have not met after the police action.

Dham also said the decision on calling off the strike will depend on this issue being resolved to their satisfaction and added that the newly sworn in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Punjab government should take concrete steps to ensure such incidents do not reoccur in future.

Meanwhile, the farmers have accused the revenue authorities of overlooking several claims made for compensation for cotton crop losses due to the pink bollworm attack.

BKU leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan said the demands were genuine and the state was duty-bound to settle the issues if any. The group said the fight for rights will continue.

The Kisan Ekta Morcha, which was one of the leading unions during the year-long agitation against the centre’s farm laws, condemned Monday’s incident in Lambi and said that the welfare of farmers should not only be in posters but in reality too.

Tagging Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann, and AAP’s national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter, the Morcha said, “The welfare of the farmers should not only be in posters but in reality too. In Punjab’s Lambi, farmers have been lathi-charged, demanding compensation for the damage caused to the bollard crop. We condemn it.”

(With inputs from Punjab Bureau)




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