Ferozepur, December 18
Several protestors were detained for blocking police vehicles as the Punjab Police on Sunday began an operation to evict those blocking the road leading to a distillery and ethanol plant in Mansurwal village.
Villagers under the banner of the Sanjha Zira Morcha have been protesting in front of the plant for the past five months, demanding that the distillery be shut down as it was allegedly polluting underground water in several villages besides causing air pollution.
Officials said police was trying to stop more villagers from reaching the protest site.
The action came a day after protesters refused to end their ‘dharna’ despite Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal reaching out to the agitators while assuring 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 had directed that protesters should be shifted 300 metres from the present spot.