A large number of farmers, under the banner of BKU (Dakonda), gheraoed the police station at Bhawanigarh for about three hours today. They were protesting the non-arrest of an arhtiya who has allegedly not paid lakhs of rupees to about 20 farmers against their crops purchased by him. However, the dharna was lifted when Bhawanigarh Station House Officer (SHO) Baljinder Singh Pannu assured them that requisite action would be taken against the arhtiya within a week.The protesting farmers, led BKU (Dakonda) state vice-president Gurmeet Singh Bhattiwal, threatened to resume agitation if the police failed to arrest the arhtiya by June 25.Bhattiwal said the arhtiya had given the farmers in writing that he had to pay money to them but he was now saying that he had not signed the receipts. He said the SHO had assured them that the police would get his signature verified soon and after that, requisite action would be taken.He said despite the registration of a case against the arhtiya in February this year, the police did not arrest him allegedly under the pressure of his relative, who was a DSP. He also claimed that earlier, the arhtiya had been nabbed but later let off by the police.SHO Baljinder Singh Pannu said the police, in the presence of a magistrate, had taken a signature of the arhtiya and had sent the same for verification to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Mohali. If the signatures on the receipts were found to be genuine, they would immediately arrest the arhtiya.
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