HARYANA IS all set to witness massive protests on Friday with farmers’ organisations and opposition parties announcing that demonstrations would be held demanding loan waiver and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report to ensure profitable prices of crops. To maintain law and order during the farmers’ agitation, including blockage of national highways on Friday, four companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sonepat and Jind apart from heavy deployment of state police.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Haryana unit president Gurnam Singh Chaduni said roads, including three national highways, would be blocked at seven places in the state for three hours — 12 pm to 3 pm — on Friday as part of a nationwide call. “The national highways would be blocked near Ambala, Hisar and Rohtak while other roads would be blocked in Sirsa, Jind, Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri,” Chaduni added. “The ongoing farmers’ agitation has received a good response from every corner of the state. If the government doesn’t accept our demands despite the blockage of roads, then we will be meeting in New Delhi on June 19 to decide the next course of strategy,” they said.
Apart from loan waiver and profitable price for their crops, the farmers are also demanding registration of a murder case against officers responsible for the recent firing on farmers and imposition of President’s Rule in Madhya Pradesh.
According to Chaduni, most of the farmers’ organisations have supported the current agitation. On the other hand, Congress leaders, led by former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, will hold a panchayat of farmers in Pipli (Kurukshetra) on Friday while the farmers wing of the Indian National Lok Dal would hold demonstrations at all district headquarters on the same day to support the ongoing agitation.
A keen observer of ongoing developments in the agriculture sector, Devinder Sharma, an agriculture expert, said, “The current agitation of farmers is just a trailor and the bigger picture is yet to come. The volcano was bound to erupt as farmers were being ignored for years.” He added, “The farm loan waiver is just a temporary solution to the problem but it must be done to give immediate relief to the farmers so that they can at least survive.”
In the past 21 years, according to figures of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) analysed by Sharma, as many as 3.18 lakh farmers have committed suicide in the country with one farmer taking the the extreme step every 41 minutes. Sharma also suggested setting up of a farmers’ income commission in every state to ensure a monthly income of at least Rs 18,000 to each of the farming family.
Meanwhile, getting feedback about protests by farmers and opposition parties, Haryana police have adopted stringent security measures in the state. Haryana DGP BS Sandhu said they held a video conference with deputy commissioners and superintendents of police on Thrusday to discuss the security arrangements, keeping in view the call of road blockage. “We will maintain the peace,” said Sandhu.
Sources said almost 90 per cent of the state police consisting of nearly 45,000 policemen would be deployed on Friday to maintain law and order.