Amid the strained relationships of India Pakistan, recent surgical strikes and other advancements citing security reasons, the BSF has provided a breath of fresh air by lifting the ban for farmers. The Border Security Force (BSF) lifted its ban that stopped farmers from entering their fields near or across the border.
BSF facilitate the farmers.
To ensure that farmers having cultivable lands do not face the bitterness of recent advancements, the Punjab BSF has taken a step further.
“This is paddy transplanting season and we were apprehensive that the BSF might put some extra restrictions in crossing the border gates. Or they might advance the gate closing time given the recent border skirmishes with Pakistan. Thankfully, the force has shown generosity and is instead facilitating us when we need them.” Amrik Singh, a farmer who owns six acres beyond the border fence said.
The decision to allow farmers to visit their agricultural fields has come as a big relief. Those were worried about the fate of their ready for harvest paddy and basmati crops are happy with the decision.
What do the BSF have to say and how does the farmer respond?
In the past, many farmers had to cross the border gates to reach their fields. They had been blaming the BSF for putting restrictions on their movement. However, an inspector on duty at one of the border gates justifies, “A few farmers have been found indulging in cross-border smuggling. They are even providing essential information to Pakistani Rangers. There have been some instances where farmers in Ferozepur and Amritsar sectors were found cultivating poppy. Their fields were situated beyond the fence. So we have to take all measures since it is a matter of national security”.
Agreeing to BSF claims, local farmer Sukhdev Singh said, “No doubt there are a few black sheep that need to be identified. But majority of innocent farmers are suffering for acts of such people”. He said they felt secure in the presence of BSF ‘Kisaan Guards’. The kisaan accompany them beyond border fence and provide them with security cover.
The Border and Beyond
Border Area Sangharsh Committee general secretary Rattan Singh Randhawa said, “Presence of Kisaan Guards make farmers comfortable and instill confidence among them while working in the fields. Otherwise there is always risk that the Pakistan side might attack.”
The BSF claims to instill no ban on tourists who want to witness the ‘Retreat Ceremony’ of the harvest season. They says “tourists are welcome to enjoy the ceremony”.
The two of the most driving occupational figures in our country have joined hands to cooperate with each other.
“JAI JAVAAN, JAI KISAAN”
Picture Courtesy: The Indian Express.