Protesting farmers block journalists from covering stubble burning in Patiala


Farmers protesting in Punjab’s Patiala district and Daunkalan in Ghanaur block staged a protest against the journalists of a national media channel, accusing it of being pro-government. 

Here are five components of the story:

  • The farmers have been upset about the lack of coverage on the ongoing agitation against the farm bills.
  • They made the journalists delete the footage of stubble burning before allowing them to leave.
  • “This channel has never highlighted the plight of the farmers who are sitting on the road and sleeping on railway tracks in an attempt to protest against the farm laws. Now, they have come to take visuals of the stubble burning,” said Bharpur Singh, a member of BKU (Ugrahan), a famers union that lead the protest. “You can lodge an FIR against me as I am responsible for this but any news channels who refuse to show our troubles will face protests in the future,” he added.
  • One of the channel’s reporter was also made to apologise for arriving at the spot without permission.
  • District president of BKU (Ugrhan), Manjeet Singh, said: “We shall hold such protests in the future as well. Television channels have been exposed for showing one-sided reports. Those that are neutral will be allowed here. Even an illiterate farmer can figure out the one-sided reporting. Hence, this anger was justified. We are not against any reporter, but we are against the channel as we have closely watched them and seen the kind of coverage that they are giving us. They need to be the voice of the people and not the government.”

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