Farm workers unions and other organisations along with farmers outfits held protest rallies and burnt effigies of state government to express their anger against the law, said Sukhdev Singh Kokari, General Secretary of BKU Ekta Ugrahan here.

"Under this law, even a head constable is authorised to take action against the violators where earlier such action could only be taken by a senior officer," he said. Kokari cited protest rallies were taken out at tehsil level in Moga while effigies were burnt at several places including Moga, Bahghapurana, Nihalsinghwala and Dharamkot.

The farmers outfits also decided to hold a convention on December 23 at Desh Bhagat Hall Jalandhar to decide on next course of action. He said they were determined to intensify their struggle so that state government is forced to withdraw 'the black law'.

Kokari stated that at Bathinda police took many activists into preventive custody early today. "There is anger among the activists against the new law which gives free hand to police," he claimed. Under this Bill passed last year, anyone found guilty of damaging public and private property, can be awarded a jail term which may extend to one year and will be liable to fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh.

Anybody found guilty of damaging public/private properties by fire or explosive substance, shall be punished with a term not less than one year but which may extend to two years and shall be liable to fine of Rs 3 lakh.

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