Nearly 700 farmers have been arrested so far owing to a ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation in Haryana that began on August 9 to push for farm loan waiver. The agitation will continue on Monday, the concluding day of its current phase.
The farmers, in groups, have been courting arrests at mainly four places Pipli (Kurukshetra), Karnal, Uklana (Hisar) and Sirsa, apart from other regions in the state.
The agitators are demanding that the debt of all the farmers should be waived as they are “unable to repay their loan because of inadequate rates of their crop.” Farmers are demanding crop price as suggested by the Swaminathan Commission report, which had recommended 50 per cent profit over and above the cost of production.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) state unit acting president Karam Singh Mathana told The Indian Express on Sunday that the most of the farmers courted arrests during the stir are still lodged in jails. BKU state president Gurnam Singh Chaduni is lodged in Yamunanagar jail since August 9 when he had led a group of farmers to offer arrest at Pipli.
“We are forced to court arrest because the farmers are still facing economic crisis even 70 years after Independence,” said Rakesh Bains, spokesperson of BKU, while addressing a group of farmers who had reached Pipli to court arrest under the movement on Sunday. “The farmers have produced foodgrains for the country but they are still facing tough times for their livelihood. Earlier, the farmers had helped in bringing Green Revolution but now they are gearing up for a Kisan Revolution,” he added.
According to Bains, thousands of farmers in 21 other states apart from Haryana have also participated in the ongoing Jail Bharo agitation by offering court arrests. “If the government doesn’t make clear its policy on the issue of farm loans, the farmers will be forced to launch a bigger agitation,” he warned.