Zira farmers refuse to join Punjab government panels in U-turn

Zira farmers refuse to join Punjab government panels in U-turn
Zira farmers refuse to join Punjab government panels in U-turn

Despite the government’s four fact-finding panels, Sanjha Morcha representatives today refused to join, leading to a stalemate for the second time in ten days.

The Central Jail released 48 protesters last night.

This committee was expected to be cooperative with protesters. The protesting groups failed to take any “unanimous” decision and raised more demands, including the cancellation of FIRs against the protesters and the restoration of firearms licenses that had been revoked earlier.

Sanjha Morcha member Roman Brar requested that the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) issue a notice canceling all cases, including those involving power thefts, in addition to restoring their firearms licenses and releasing their properties (fards), which were attached to the documents submitted to the High Court.

“We will cooperate with the teams once the CMO issues the notification,” said Brar, adding that otherwise they would block highways all over the state and gherao the MLAs from Tuesday.

A section of Sanjha Morcha protesters echoed that “Sadi Ekko Mang, Factory Band” (We only want the factory to be shut down) after meeting Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on December 16. However, they later retracted their agreement after a section of protesters refused to agree the next day.

Meanwhile, the Sanjha Morcha honored all protesters who were released from jail at the site of the dharna. Deliberations on the course of action were held by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, the BKU Krantikari, the BKU Ekta (Ugraha), the Kisan Majdoor Sangharsh Samiti, and other Sikh organizations. Gurmail Singh Sarpanch, however, said there was no decision to join the probe panels.

As the protesters have refused to move until the plant is shut down, the dharna has now lasted five months without much progress on the ground.