The ten-day ‘Gaon Bandh’ protest call given by some farmer unions to disrupt milk and vegetables supply to cities continued on day three in Punjab’s Malwa belt with farmers dumping milk and vegetables on the roads in some districts.
In Ludhiana, farmers from Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) squatted on Ludhiana-Chandigarh road at Kohara chowk from 6 am to 9 am and stopped milkmen who were transporting milk towards Ludhiana city. Harinder Singh Khalsa, general secretary BKU Lakhowal, said that they distributed 30-40 litres of milk among the poor after stopping milkmen who were going towards city to sell it.
“Yes, we stopped some milkmen as they were going to sell the milk. However, we have issued an appeal to farmers today to not dump milk and vegetables on roads. They can sell it in villages, put up kisan huts outside cities or distribute among poor or give to temples or gurdwaras for langar. Protest should not end till government calls us for talks and fixes Minimum Support price (MSP) for fruits, vegetables and milk ,” he said.
In Mansa, vegetables and milk were dumped by farmers as a mark of protest.
Protesting union leaders said that farmers should not settle for anything less than Rs 40 per litre for their milk produce. “Verka, Nestle and other companies are paying Rs 22-30 per litre only depending on fat measurement in milk to farmers whereas consumers get it for 50-60 per litre. Farmers should be given at least 40/litre. We want government to fix Minimum Support Price (MSP) for milk too. Why middlemen should get all profit,” said Harinder Singh, General Secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal).