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Sukhbir S Badal condemns arrest of rice sheller owners at Mansa


Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today condemned the summary arrests of rice sheller owners at Mansa, saying chief minister Bhagwant Mann should take up their case for resolution with the centre instead of suppressing their protests.

He also asked the SAD cadre to reach grain markets across the State to force the State government to ensure lifting of paddy and restart of procurement. “I will also visit the mandis in solidarity with farmers. They cannot be made victims for the failue of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in resolving the grievances of rice millers' '.

In a statement here, the SAD president said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government was directly responsible for clogging grain markets and creating obstacles in the way of smooth procurement of paddy.

“It has been more than one week that rice sheller owners have struck work because of the AAP government’s failure to arrive at a resolution on the use of micronutrients used to fortify rice. Rice millers have made it clear that they are purchasing the micronutrient which is used to fortify rice from approved sources”. He said it was unfortunate that despite huge penalties being imposed on rice shellers, the government was yet to wake up to the seriousness of the issue.

Meanwhile Mr Badal also stressed that the State government should take up the issue of relaxation in moisture content in paddy with the centre immediately. He said rains during the last two days had resulted in an increase in moisture content in paddy and that farmers should not be penalized for the same.

The SAD president said earlier also the AAP government had turned a blind eye to the suffering of farmers when their paddy crop was damaged due to heavy rains and floods. “The farmers are yet to be paid compensation for the same. Now the crop they have brought to the mandis is being spoilt due to exposure to rain. They are also being harassed with procurement not taking place for more than one week now”. EOM

Jangveer Singh

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