MANDI BAHAUDDIN

The Kissan Board took out a rally at village Mangat on Phalia Mandi Road against alleged corruption in the police and district administration and against the failure to address their problems.

The traffic remained blocked as the rally marched towards Mandi, raising slogans against the local administration and the police. Thousands of farmers participated in the rally. Their leaders said that the government had lost control over administration and police and the country had almost turned into a police state. Police and district administrations are either inefficient or they have turned a blind eye to their, said the speakers.

They noted that the farmers were restless over the government policies against them, saying that it was benefiting only industrialists at the cost of public woes. Irrigations and drainage system was in bad shape due to lack of maintenance and negligence of officials concerned, they further said.

“Complaints against revenue officials are always disposed of with no relief to farmers and there is no accountability of officials against corrupt officials,” they said. They also accused sugar mills for purchasing sugarcane at low price and not making payment to growers in time. They said the sugar mills had polluted the environment as they did not clean poisonous water which was drained out from mills.

On the other side, they said, the dealers of pesticides and fertilisers overcharge the farmers while the government when informed imposed minor fines on them. No trader had been punished severely or awarded imprisonment for indulgence in overcharging and profiteering, they complained. They accused the local administration of misusing sugar cess fund. They also criticised police for failure to control crime in the area.

They demanded that the higher authorities sould purge police of black sheep. They demanded that the sugar cess fund should be spent on road maintenance with consultation of farmers. They also blamed the government for purchasing agriculture produce at cheap rates. Meanwhile, police reached the spot but seeing intensity of the rage of farmers they did not react to clear the road. Then, ADC Hareen Hoot with other officers came there and negotiated with farmers. He promised that all genuine problems faced by them would be resolved as soon as possible.