Stubble burning has become a major issue in Uttar Pradesh and over the last few days an increasing number of farmers have been arrested and fined for the same.
On Wednesday, around 29 farmers were arrested and imprisoned, allegedly for stubble burning. According to a CNN News18 report, the incident took place in Pilibhit, with FIRs having been filed against more than 800 other people. Fines totalling Rs. 8 lakhs have so far been imposed. Local officers have also been served show cause notices for being unable to curb the problem.
Earlier today, an IANS report mentioned that in Mathura, the district administration has so far imposed fines totalling Rs 13.5 lakh on 300 farmers.
Mathura District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said that farmers were arrested for violating Section 15 of the Environment Protection Act. He said that the administration had been keeping continuous track on such cases and if farmers continued to violate rules, punitive action was to be taken against them.
SSP Mathura Shalabh Mathur added that those who were arrested for burning crop residue in their farms were booked under section 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health) of IPC and those who had collected stubble at the corner of their farms or some secluded place for burning were booked under section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offence) of the CrPC. He said that some farmers, who tried to prevent government officials from discharging their duties, were booked under section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IPC.
Similar to Pilibhit, show cause notices have been issued to five village heads of Nandgaon and Chhata block under the Panchayat Raj Act section, which provides for removal of village heads for having higher number of cases of stubble burning in their respective villages.
Five village heads from Deh, Pulwana, Hathana, Kharaut, and Phalain had been issued show cause notices as large number of stubble burning cases were reported there.
"If they fail to give an appropriate reply, they will be removed from their post," the district magistrate said.
According to an earlier report, over 2,000 cases of stubble-burning have been observed in ten districts of UP. This includes 455 cases from Mathura and 321 from Pilibhit.
(With inputs from IANS)