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Farmers Demand Help Hold 12 Government Officials Hostage In Punjab

Police said 12 government officials had been taken hostage


A group of farmers demanding help for crop damage allegedly held 12 government officials hostage for several hours inside a sub-tehsil office in Lambi Muktsar district.

Officers, including a vice-tehsildar and heir, were released by police late Monday night because protesters refused to release them, according to an official.

Farmers have demanded help for damage to their cotton crops by pink hairy caterpillars.

Revenue officials on Tuesday launched a strike over the incident in the state.

Police said a group of more than 100 farmers under the farm union banner staged a protest outside the sub-tehsil in Lambi on Monday. Protesters entered the office building in the afternoon and held the officer hostage until midnight, police added.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sandeep Kumar Malik said 12 government officials had been taken hostage.

SSP said senior police officers and subdivision magistrates there tried to calm them down and ensure meetings with senior officials to address their concerns.

“But they insisted and the officers were held hostage until late at night,” Malik told PTI by phone on Tuesday.

He said taking into account the safety of those taken hostage, the administration ordered the police to take them out safely.

Malik denied reports that police had used force against farmers to free officers.

“We released the officers in a controlled and peaceful manner. No force was used. Before moving to release the officers, we asked them (farmers) many times so that they could hold dharna but government officials on duty cannot be captured,” he said.

He said then the FIR was registered based on a written complaint from officers.

FIRs were made against eight to nine people and several unidentified people, Malik said.

However, a farmer leader told reporters in Lambi on Tuesday that police used force and six to seven protesters were injured.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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