Punjab govt quashes all cases against farmers booked for protesting and stubble burning, says ‘we’ll be strict’

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Updated: November 18, 2021 8:43 AM

The move comes as Delhi and the national capital region lie smothered under a toxic and poisonous haze that has been partially linked to these fires.

The move comes as Delhi and the national capital region lie smothered under a toxic and poisonous haze that has been partially linked to these fires.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday said the Punjab government will cancel all police cases against farmers who have been booked for burning stubble and also those who have been booked for protesting against the Centre’s three farm laws. He, however, asked farmers not to burn stubble, else strict action will be taken.

“All cases lodged in connection with farmers’ protests are being quashed…We want no farmer to burn stubble, we’ll be strict. But cases lodged so far in connection with stubble burning, are being quashed. I request them to not burn stubble, it causes pollution,” Channi said.

The move comes as Delhi and the national capital region lie smothered under a toxic and poisonous haze that has been partially linked to these fires.

Earlier this week, the Centre told the Supreme Court that stubble burning was not the major cause pollution in the national capital as it contributed to only 10 per cent of capital’s dirty air. At least 74 per cent pollution caused due to industries, dust and vehicles in the city, the Centre said.

This contradicted the Delhi government’s claim – that farmers are largely to blame for the toxic air that envelops the national capital every year. The apex court also has blamed the Delhi government for solely focusing stubble-burning as the cause of pollution in its affidavit.

According to SAFAR – the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research – the share of farm fires to pollution over Delhi NCR on Wednesday dropped to a low of six percent. But this was from a high of 35 per cent last week and 48 per cent post-Diwali.

Air quality levels in Delhi NCR are expected to improve over the next few days, but only because windspeeds are supposed to increase and carry the pollutants away.

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