Farmers in Bathinda Force Official to Burn Stubble, Challenging Government's Efforts
Farmers in Bathinda Force Official to Burn Stubble, Challenging Government's Efforts
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Chandigarh: In an unusual incident that took place in Punjab's Bathinda, farmers openly mocked government officials by compelling one of them to burn stubble, a practice associated with contributing to air pollution. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann shared a video of this incident on his official social media account 'X'. The government official in question was part of a team deployed to deter farmers from engaging in stubble burning.

In response to the viral video, the Punjab Police has taken action by registering a case against some of the farmers involved in the incident. Bathinda's Senior Superintendent of Police, Gulneet Singh Khurana, confirmed that a case had been registered, and efforts are underway to locate and apprehend the farmers responsible for these actions.

 

Bathinda's Deputy Commissioner, Showkat Ahmad Parray, corresponded with the Senior Superintendent of Police, urging the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against the farmers. They are being charged for obstructing a government official from performing his duties.

The Deputy Commissioner explained that the official had been surrounded by approximately 50 to 60 farmers, all associated with a particular farming organization. Under pressure from the mob, he was taken to a nearby field and forced to set fire to a pile of stubble. The Commissioner defended the official, stating that when confronted by such a large group, he had little choice but to comply with the farmers' demands. This incident reflects a concerning level of lawlessness, which the Deputy Commissioner emphasized would not be tolerated. He pledged to personally visit the village and ensure that those responsible for the incident face appropriate consequences.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who shared the video on his social media platform, expressed his disapproval of the farmers' actions. He appealed to the people of Punjab, remarking on the unfortunate turn of events. Mann questioned the path the state's residents were taking, highlighting how a government official had come with a message to discourage stubble burning but had been coerced into participating in it. Mann also invoked the reverence for air in Sikhism, stressing the importance of safeguarding it. He lamented the use of sticks to destroy the oxygen supply for future generations and mentioned the initiation of proceedings against those responsible for these actions.

This incident occurred at a time when, as is customary, Delhi-NCR is grappling with smog resulting from stubble burning in Punjab. The air quality index (AQI) in the national capital has reached alarmingly high levels, with a thick shroud of smog enveloping the entire city. This has led to respiratory issues for the local residents. The government has already enacted GRAP-3 measures to address high pollution levels in the region.

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