Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Saturday appealed to the Uttar Pradesh government to make farmers aware about stubble burning and its impact on air pollution, before initiating any action against them.
In a tweet in Hindi, Mayawati said, "The atrocities on farmers in the garb of pollution caused due to stubble burning in UP is extremely condemnable. The government before taking any action against farmers, should make them aware and give them necessary assistance. This is the demand of the BSP."
The tweet by Mayawati comes a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to ensure that farmers are not harassed or misbehaved with them when action is taken against stubble burning.
The chief minister also said new experiments to use crop residue should be encouraged and projects to prepare bio fuel/power from stubble should be reviewed. "The farmers should be made aware of the impacts of stubble burning on the environment and pollution caused by it and asked the Agriculture Department to run awareness programmes for this. It should be ensured that farmers should not be misbehaved with or harassed while taking action against stubble burning," an official statement quoted the chief minister as saying.
"Effective use of stubble can help farmers in increasing their income," Adityanath said, according to the statement issued here. On November 4, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu demanded immediate release of all the farmers who have been allegedly arrested over stubble burning.
Lallu claimed that the state government was lodging cases and harassing farmers in the name of checking the menace of stubble burning. He claimed that 16 farmers had been sent to jail in Saharanpur alone over the past week, while "hundreds" of others were forced to flee to evade arrest, adding that it was "deplorable".
Lallu asked the government to stop the "atrocities" on farmers and instead take steps for resolving their problems, warning that the party would be forced to come onto the streets to protest against the alleged harassment of farmers.