Sunday in Punjab Is Marked by Protests for Jobs and A Cleaner Environment

Sunday in Punjab Is Marked by Protests for Jobs and A Cleaner Environment

While a demonstration was being organized in Ferozepur to declare a massive protest against the pollution created by a liquor plant, the agitation at Barnala Chowk was against the lathi charging of assistant professors whose selection procedure was recently annulled by the high court.

Even though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claims to be pleased with its performance, a number of agitations have started across the state of Punjab six months into the party’s administration. Numerous protests occurred on Sunday in locations like as Barnala, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, and Patiala.

Barnala Chowk Rally

Protesters raised their voices at the Vangar rally in Barnala Chowk against the lathi charging of assistant professors who had been hired by the previous Congress government in December of last year but whose selection process had been invalidated by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 9 of this year. The high court order had an overall impact on 1,158 people.

On September 19, as the unhappy individuals marched to the residence of higher education minister and Barnala MLA Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, they were lathi-charged by the police. The aggrieved individuals had been demanding a panel meeting with Hayer for more than a month. “The minister and the teachers have not yet met. This reveals their haughtiness. As a result, we planned the Vangar rally. Next, a rally at the provincial level will be organized; the day and location will be decided soon, according to Narian Dutt of the Inqlaabi Kendra, which had offered support for the protest alongside the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakaunda.

Zira Protest Against the Liquor Plant

Sunday in Punjab Is Marked by Protests for Jobs and A Cleaner Environment

The Sanjha Zira Morcha organized a tractor and motorcycle rally in the Zira Assembly constituency of Ferozepur district to announce a massive protest on October 3 outside the Malbros International Pvt Ltd liquor factory in Mansurwal village. Since July 24, protesters have been camped out in front of the plant, making claims that it violated pollution regulations and exploited groundwater. The controversy started when residents of Maiyan Wala village discovered contaminated water while constructing a borehole for a gurdwara.

“As the ruling AAP government is mum over this factory, owned by former SAD MLA Deep Malhotra, this is a people’s movement against the government as well as the owner of the factory. We want the factory to be sealed, though it is already closed temporarily,” said Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja of Bhai Ghaniya Cancer Roko Society. Sunday’s rally saw a huge response and extended over 23 km as people from all walks participated, said Roman Brar, convenor of Sanjha Zira Morcha.

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Stir Against Etp Installation in Ludhiana

Sunday in Punjab Is Marked by Protests for Jobs and A Cleaner Environment

In Ludhiana, a protest was organized against the installation of an effluent treatment plant (ETP) for dairies located in the Haibowal area. Organized by a public action committee (PAC) and Changemakers and Whistleblowers Association, the protest sought to shift the dairies out of the city rather than installing an ETP at the location. According to PAC member Kapil Arora, “This won’t fix the problem; we need a long-term solution for the pollution.”

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