1. Home
  2. News

Punjab: Farmers Protesting at PSPCL Head Office Cut Water Intake

Farmers protesting at PSPCL head office in Patiala, Punjab cut water intake and also refused medical checkups.

Vivek Singh
Farmers protest at PSPCL head office (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)
Farmers protest at PSPCL head office (Photo Courtesy: Unsplash)

The ongoing farmers' protest outside the PSPCL head office in Patiala reached its fifth day on Monday, with a group of five farm unionists affiliated with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) deciding to limit their water consumption. The move was aimed at avoiding bathroom breaks due to their deteriorating health conditions.

The protesters had initiated a fast unto death on Thursday, demanding the fulfillment of 24 demands related to power connections and supply. Interestingly, they also refused medical check-ups by doctors.

In response to the protest, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) lodged a case of alleged power theft against the leaders of Samyukta Kisan Morcha. A senior engineer from the power distributor confirmed the registration of the case. The farmers accused the PSPCL of attempting to tarnish their image by accusing them of theft. They emphasized that the responsibility of providing basic facilities such as water, electricity, and toilets to the protesters rested with the administration. According to them, the lack of these facilities amounts to a violation of human rights.

The district administration, in accordance with a high court judgment, issued orders designating specific sites for peaceful protests. They appealed to the protesting unions to lift their dharna (sit-in protest) as five sites had been notified for their use, including the Mehmoodpur grain market in Patiala division, a municipal park in Samana division, Jhanda ground in Rajpura, a vacant land in Patran, and the Puda complex in Nabha.

Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Other Protesters Detained

In an early morning operation on Tuesday, the police in Patiala, Punjab, forcefully cleared the dharna organized by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political), a splinter group of the SKM. The protest was taking place outside the head office of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). During the operation, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, the president of BKU Sidhupur and the leader of the dharna, along with many others, was detained.

The SKM (non-political) had been protesting since Thursday against several issues, including the installation of smart meters, delays in providing new connections to farmers, and the release of pending tubewell connections, among other concerns.

At around 5 am, police force arrived at the protest site, where most farmers were either sleeping or just waking up. The police swiftly removed the tents, employing mild force when a few protesters resisted. They also cleared the area of tractor trolleys parked near the protest site, allowing access to the road for PSPCL employees and the general public.

Subsequently, the police transported the farmers in three buses to different police stations for further processing.

While being taken away, Dallewal expressed his disappointment, stating that he had warned the Punjab police against using the force. He asserted that the protest had been peaceful since June 8. Dallewal reminded everyone that their demands had already been agreed upon by the government in May of the previous year. He urged farmers across the state to join the demonstrations in their respective districts, emphasizing that their hunger strike would persist even inside the jail. Dallewal vowed not to give up the fight for farmers' rights.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters