New Delhi, 03 April 2021: A section of the media has erroneously reported that this Ministry has written to the Punjab Government allegedly levelling grave charges against the farmers of the state. These news reports are misleading and present a distorted and highly editorialized opinion of a simple observation about a socioeconomic problem emerging from four sensitive border districts of Punjab over a period of two years, which has been brought to the attention of this Ministry by the concerned CAPF.

Firstly, no motive can be ascribed to a letter issued by this Ministry to a particular State or States as this is part of routine communication over Law and Order issues. This letter has also been forwarded to Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour & Employment with a request to carry out a sensitization exercise in all States, with an aim to check the duping of vulnerable victims at the hands of unscrupulous elements.

Secondly, some of the news reports about the letter have juxtaposed in a totally unrelated context to conclude that the MHA has framed “grave charges” against the farmers of Punjab and has also connected this with the ongoing farmers’ agitation. The letter clearly and only states that “human trafficking syndicates” hire such labourers and they are “exploited, paid poorly and meted out inhuman treatment” besides luring them with drugs to extract more labour affecting their “physical and mental health”.

Keeping in view the multi-dimensional and overwhelming enormity of the problem, this Ministry has only requested the State Government(s) to “take suitable measures to address this serious problem”.