Heavy force deployed outside liquor factory in Zira to move protesters


Heavy police force have been deployed near the indefinite dharna outside Malbros international private limited, a liquor factory in Mansurwal village of Zira constituency of Ferozepur district since Thursday.

The matter came to light in the second week of July when very dirty water with a stench of alcohol had come out while digging a bore in Gurdwara premises of Mainaiwala village. Following which, residents from near by villages and NGO gathered outside the factory since July 24 demanding its closure. A protest has also been going on under the banner of Sanjha Zira Morcha and protesters have alleged that the unit is polluting the ground water during the process of liquor making. The factory had started operating in 2007. Roman Brar, convenor of Sanjha Zira Morcha, said, “We have been asked to shift our dharna 300 metres away from the factory but it will continue as it is. Heavy force has been deployed to intimidate us but our numbers are increasing with every passing day.”

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, a member of PAC, said that SAD MLA Deep Malhotra owns the factory and the company had moved high court to get the dharna lifted.

“Though the HC has issued directions to shift the dharna by 300 away from the gate of the factory but they have also stated that law and order should be maintained. Hence, no force should be used on protesters.”

A petition was also filed in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by PAC member Kapil Dev and his associates. NGT had issued directions for constitution of joint committee comprising members of central pollution control board ( CPCB), Punjab pollution control board (PPCB), State Ground Water Board and Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur for verification of factual position. The bench had directed the committee to meet in two weeks, undertake visits of the site, look into the grievances of the applicants and representative of the concerned project proponent, verify the factual position and submit its report within one month.

The NGT order also states that the state pollution control board will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.

Meanwhile, when contacted, SSP Ferozepur Surinder Lamba said that force has been deployed to get the dharna shifted 300m away from the main gate of the factory. “We are peacefully negotiating with the protesters and will find out a solution soon. Maintaining law and order is our priority,” he said.





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