Ferozepur: Over 1,100 unidentified people were booked on Wednesday, a day after eight police personnel were injured in clashes with members of farmer unions trying to force their way through barricades to reach the site of a protest against a distillery in Mansurwal village.

They have been booked for attempt to murder as well as under the Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act among others, officials said.

Villagers under the banner of the Sanjha Morcha Zira have been protesting in front of the distillery for the past five months, demanding the plant be shut down as it was allegedly polluting groundwater in several villages besides causing air pollution.

On Tuesday, members of various farmer unions allegedly damaged police vehicles and rammed a jeep into security personnel when asked to take an alternative route to the protest site.

Over 1,100 unidentified people have been booked. In another case, 10 people have been booked on the charge of electricity theft at the protest site, police said, adding no arrest has been made yet.

Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Saturday reached out to the agitators while assuring them that their concerns will be addressed.

Dhaliwal had assured the protesters that their interests would be protected and added that special fact-finding committees comprising experts from various fields will be set up in this regard.

However, protesters stuck to their demand of shutting down the plant.

Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal on Saturday reached out to the agitators while assuring them that their concerns will be addressed.

Dhaliwal had assured the protesters that their interests would be protected and added that special fact-finding committees comprising experts from various fields will be set up in this regard.

However, protesters stuck to their demand of shutting down the plant.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the protesters to end the stir, describing it as “illegal”. It also asked them not to violate law and order.

By Shadab

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