WATCH: Punjab farmers asked to stop burning stubble forced government official to light it

A group of farmers in the Bathinda district of Punjab allegedly compelled a government official, who was a member of a team tasked with preventing farm fires, to burn the stubble that was left in a field on Friday, thereby courting controversy.

The incident was made public after Bhagwant Mann, the chief minister of Punjab, uploaded a supposedly complete footage of it on his X account.

प्यारे पंजाबियों ये किस राह पर चल पड़े ??…सरकारी कर्मचारी पराली ना जलाने का संदेश लेकर गया पर उसी से आग लगवा दी…हवा को गुरु साहिब ने गुरु का दर्जा दिया…हम इस दर्जे को बर्बाद करने के लिए अपने हाथों में तीलियां लेकर अपने बच्चों के हिस्से की ऑक्सीजन को खत्म करने में लगे…

— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) November 4, 2023

Mann denounced the act and stated that an FIR report had been filed.

The event happened within the boundaries of the Nahian Wala police station in Mehma Sarja village, according to Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gulneet Singh Khurana.

“To persuade the farmers in Mehma Sarja village not to burn the stubble, a team of officials had gone there. Harpreet Singh, our civil administration officer, was coerced by the local farmers to burn his stubble while he was lying in the field by calling their union during this time, the police officer stated.

According to SSP Khurana, a FIR has been filed in this case under the applicable sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”We’ve filed a formal complaint about this. In all, seven people have been named in the FIR, and additional people are the target of legal action. Ram Singh was the owner of the farm. In addition, raids are being carried out and other union members who were present at the location are being identified,” he continued.

In some areas of the agricultural states of Punjab and Haryana, stubble burning is very common.

It involves lighting the remaining straw stubble from harvesting grains such as wheat and paddy. In many regions of north India, the burning of agricultural leftovers is a primary source of air pollution, leading to a decline in the quality of the air during this season. It has a negative impact on the national capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI) when combined with pollutants from moving vehicles.

(with inputs from agency)

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