Protests for jobs, cleaner environment mark Sunday in Punjab

Six months into Punjab’s rule by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), various riots have erupted across the state, despite the party claiming satisfaction with its performance. Also on Sunday there were several protests in places like Barnala, Ferozepur, Ludhiana and Patiala.

Rally in Barnala Chowk

At the Vangar rally in Barnala Chowk, protesters spoke out against the lathi charges against assistant professors who were given posts in state colleges by the previous Congressional government in December last year, but their selection process was overturned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in August 9 this year. A total of 1,158 people are affected by the Supreme Court order.

Vangar Vangar rally protests. (express photo)

The injured had been asking for a panel meeting with Higher Education Minister and Barnala MLA Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer for more than a month and were marching to his Barnala residence on September 19 when they were charged by police. “Until now, the minister has not met the teachers. That shows their arrogance. That’s why we organized the Vangar Rally. A Punjab-level rally is planned next, for which we will finalize the date and venue soon,” said Narian Dutt of Inqlaabi Kendra, who had supported the protest along with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakaunda.

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March at Zira against the liquor factory

In Zira constituency of Ferozepur district, the Sanjha Zira Morcha organized a tractor and motorcycle rally to announce a mega protest in front of Malbros International Pvt Ltd liquor factory in Mansurwal village on October 3. Since July 24, demonstrators have sat outside the factory with accusations that it Pollution norms flouted and groundwater exploited. The excitement began after villagers found polluted water digging an artesian well in a gurdwara in Maiyan Wala village.

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Zira Rally of Sanjha Zira Morcha. (express photo)

“Since the ruling AAP government is the parent of this factory owned by former SAD MLA Deep Malhotra, this is a popular movement against the government as well as against the owner of the factory. We want the factory to be sealed even though it is already temporarily closed,” said Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja of the Bhai Ghaniya Cancer Roko Society. Sunday’s rally drew a huge response and stretched 23km as people from all walks took part, said Roman Brar, organizer of Sanjha Zira Morcha.

Stir against the ETP installation in Ludhiana

A protest was organized in Ludhiana against the installation of an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) for dairies in the Haibowal area. Organized by a public action committee (PAC) and the Changemakers and Whistleblowers Association, the protest sought to move the dairies out of town rather than install an ETP there. “That won’t solve the problem, so we need a long-term solution to the pollution,” said Kapil Arora, a PAC member.

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Dairies Ludhiana NGOs protest against the relocation of dairies from the Ludhiana metropolitan area to reduce pollution. (express photo)

Dharna of linemen, pawns

A dharna of unemployed seeking jobs as line workers entered their sixth day in Patiala, as part of which agitators have protested atop a power pole. In the prime minister’s Dhuri constituency, farmers have been sitting on a dharna at the Bhagwanpura sugar mill since September 20, under the banner of the Ganna Sangarsh committee, demanding that outstanding payments be settled by the mill owner.

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