At least 19 farmers were arrested on Sunday for burning stubble in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh, officials said. District magistrate Akhilesh Tiwari said that FIRs were registered against 19 farmers and 14 villagers for burning stubble in fields of Sitapur. He urged farmers to discontinue the practice as it affected their lands.
"FIRs have been registered against 19 farmers and 14 village officials in Sitapur for burning stubble in their fields. I would like to appeal to the farmers that stubble burning is harmful to their lands and so they should restrict themselves from burning it," Tiwari said.
The arrested farmers were charged with Rs 49,000 fine by the district administration who also called for a departmental investigation against 14 accountants and agriculture officers.
Besides this, 45 FIRs have also been registered against farmers in Shamli for allegedly burning stubble and sugarcane leaves. The district magistrate Akhilesh Singh said that fines to the tune of Rs 3.5 lakh have been issued, of which, around Rs 2 lakh has been recovered. The Uttar Pradesh police began arresting farmers and villagers for burning stubble when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier this month enquired from the chief police officers of 26 districts in the state regarding stubble burning incidents.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday sought answers from police chiefs of 26 districts of the state over incidents of stubble burning and absence of proper control over them despite the orders of the Supreme Court and directives of the Yogi Adityanath dispensation.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Additional Chief Secretary Home, Awanish Awasthi said, "The government has taken it very seriously. In this regard, the government has sought an answer from police chiefs of 26 districts by December 3. The state government had sent the list of incidents of stubble burning to these police chiefs from October 1 last year to November 25 this year."