January 5, 2022 10:19:10 am
Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first rally in Punjab after the repeal of farm laws, three approach roads leading to the venue in Ferozepur were blocked for more than 12 hours by members of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC).
The committee members had given a call to disrupt the Prime Minister’s rally as the Centre is silent on the minimum support price (MSP) issue. However, police stopped the farmers from proceeding to the rally site on Tuesday evening, leading them to begin a sit-in protest on the Fazilka- Ferozepur road, Tarantaran-Ferozepur road and Zira- Ferozepur road.
Union Minister Gajendra Shekhawat held two rounds of talks with KMSC president Satnam Singh Pannu where appeals were made to the farmers to lift the sit-in protests as BJP supporters coming from Fazilka, Tarantaran, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and other districts need to access these roads. It is learnt that many supporters from border Haryana and Rajasthan are also coming via Fazilka road.
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of KMSC, said, “The Minister told us that MSP committee will be formed by January 15. All police cases during the course of agitation will be withdrawn from all states. It hasn’t been done till now, though promised while lifting Delhi Morcha. However, in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, we are not in agreement with them as they have not removed the Union Minister from the Cabinet. He told that clause 14&15 will be removed from the air quality act by January 15 which penalises farmers for stubble burning. All are already promised things, but have not been implemented till now. If he gives things in writing, we will lift dharna from all roads and will do a rally near Shershahwali area of Ferozepur. We will not go towards rally venue after that.”
The roads were partially cleared for traffic movement by 9.30 am on Wednesday after farmers received assurances that PM Modi would address them on January 15. The farmer union members then started to gather at Kulgadi area of Ferozepur to do a protest rally after blocking the roads for more than 12 hours. Baljinder Singh, Media secretary of KMSC said, “We have been given assurance that PM will be interacting with farmers on January 15. Details are yet to be told as where and on what issues.”
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