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Punjabi Diary: Modi government's agriculture ordinance sparks protests across Punjab's major cities today

Indian farmers protesting in Amritsar, demanding complete farm debt waiver. Source: AFP

In our weekly news wrap from Punjab, today we bring you the latest on the unrest amongst Punjab's farmers arising from the Modi government's agriculture ordinance, a twist in the Behbal Kalan firing case and Punjab's new Smart Ration Cards.

The Kisaan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee has launched a large-scale protest against the Narendra Modi government’s Agriculture Ordinance. Ten farmer unions across Punjab will hold ‘Lalkaar rallies’ in Amritsar, Barnala, Phagwara, Moga and Patiala today to protest against the ordinance.

Three major river bridges across Punjab at Harike Head, Beas and Shri Hargobindpur will see a token blockade.

While the Punjab government has adopted a soft approach towards the protestors, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has so far not taken up the matter strongly with the Centre. The committee’s members initiated a ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ last week.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh launched ‘Smart Ration Cards’ in Chandigarh last week. Under the National Food Security Act, this scheme will enable eligible consumers to buy foodgrain from any ration depot in Punjab. Over 1.41 crore consumers will benefit under this scheme.

In the Behbal Kalan firing case, Special Investigation Team member Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh has named former Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini and suspended Inspector General Paramraj Singh Umranangal as co-conspirators in the firing on peaceful protestors after the Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case in 2015.

The Faridkot District and Sessions Court will continue hearing this case on September 15. Arrest warrants for Mr Saini have been issued.

 

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