It was a support dharna which soon turned into a protest rally that held up traffic on the busy Ferozepur Road for nearly 45 minutes.
Members of the Jammohrai Kissan Sabha,a farmers union,had assembled outside the Punjab Agricultural University to impress upon state government to work for the betterment of agriculture.
The farmers wanted to meet PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr M S Kang on the issue. But when Kang did not turn up at the rally,the farmers union resorted to blocking traffic.
Finally,the V-C arrived at the spot and accepted a memorandum,to be passed on to the Chief Minister,and the agitators cleared the way.
The union demanded that university research stations should be kept intact to help the state in agricultural research.
The government has its eye on various university research stations scattered across the state and that is why the Kapurthala paddy research station is being shut down. The land of a research station is acquired for other purposes and research is shifted to another site. But the government has never cared to provide funds to construct research infrastructure at new places, said Dr Satnam Singh Ajnala,state president of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha.
He cited an earlier instance of research being shifted to Ladhowal from Jalandhar without considering that the new place is not conducive for sugarcane research.
He added that agricultural research has gone off the priority list of the state government and that is why several posts in the university and other research institutions were lying vacant.
Research cannot be done without manpower. We demand that these vacancies be filled, said Ajnala.
Eminent economist Dr Sardara Singh Johl also joined the farmers in their rally.