Punjab: Three fact-finding teams collect samples in Zira

Three fact-finding teams probing the allegations of pollution against Malbros International Private Limited, an alcohol-making unit at Mansurwal village of Zira in Ferozepur, on Saturday conducted samples for their survey amid boycott announced by the Sanjha Morcha.

“Fifteen samples from various areas in the vicinity of liquor factory were collected by soil conservation team on Saturday, while experts from the animal husbandry collected 28 samples,” said Ferozepur additional deputy commissioner (general) Sagar Setia, who is also the nodal officer of probe committees formed by the Punjab government.

“Representatives from three labs finalised in consent with Sanjha Morcha, Zira, are also likely to start sampling in the area on Monday, while the experts from the health department, in collaboration with local teams, have already got the survey of the area done for the suspected cancer cases in 44 nearby villages. The health team will submit its report by January 10,” Setia added.

“We again invited Sanjha Morcha, Zira, today to accompany the probe committees during sampling, but they refused,” he further said.

However, Roman Brar, a member of Sanjha Morcha, Zira, while justifying the boycott, said, “The sampling done by the probe committees or investigation by the Punjab government do not carry any weightage for us as we have found their intentions to be biased.”

“They are working just to safeguard the interests of factory owner and have not so far and will not in future take any stern action against the factory owner,” he added.

“We have collected strong and evident proofs showing the spread of pollution by the liquor factory and will present the same in a press conference on Sunday,” the farm leader claimed.

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The protesters also said that they would not lift the protest till the permanent closure of the factory.

Meanwhile, member of parliament from Sangrur, Simranjit Singh Mann, on Saturday joined the protest going on in front of the liquor factory for the last 159 days.

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