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Rajasthan: District Collector ‘threatens’ to jail farmers affected by rain, hailstorm

Sri Ganganagar Collector says wasn’t talking to affected farmers, video is ‘selectively edited’

By: Express News Service | Jaipur |
March 16, 2016 12:32:57 am

A district collector in Rajasthan has found himself in the middle of a controversy after a video of him purportedly talking down to farmers affected by rain and hailstorm went viral on social media on Tuesday.

The opposition Congress has reacted sharply to the incident, saying it will raise the issue in the ongoing Budget Session of the state Assembly.

The video shows Sri Ganganagar District Collector (DC) P C Kishan allegedly telling farmers, “Don’t talk too much. I am already giving you adequate (compensation)…would have put you in jail…got it? Don’t talk too much.”

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The alleged incident occurred when the farmers were protesting outside the collectorate on Monday, demanding a detailed survey of crops damaged in the recent rain and hailstorm. The DC allegedly lashed out at the farmers’ delegation that went to meet him in his chamber after the protest.

When contacted, Kishan, a 2005 batch IAS officer, said the video was “selectively edited” to paint him in a bad picture.

“I haven’t seen the video but from whatever I have heard, it seems it has been selectively edited to play up a few lines,” he told The Indian Express.

“There is no question of insensitivity, as I have always worked for the people. Even after Saturday’s hailstorm, I walked on foot through 10 affected villages and heard as many farmers as possible,” he said.

According to the DC, the delegation that met him Monday included some commission agents who were “unnecessary creating nuisance”.

“These commission agents, known as Aarat, are not happy when farmers get good compensation. It was these people who were raising their voice and not letting the discussion proceed constructively. I had said it to them and not the farmers,” he said.

The opposition Congress, however, accused the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government of “insensitivity” towards farmers.

Talking to The Indian Express, PCC chief Sachin Pilot said, “No collector or official has the audacity to speak or deal with people this way unless they have a go ahead from the state government. This government’s insensitivity towards farmers and the poor sections of society is astounding. And it’s not a one-off case. It’s becoming a pattern. We will raise the issue in Assembly.”

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