Chandigarh Police, on Tuesday, used water cannons to stop farmers from holding a protest outside the residence of Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore. The farmers wanted to give a memorandum to the governor about the demands. The farmers, who were protesting under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee Punjab, gathered at Phase VIII in the morning and marched towards Chandigarh at around 11.30 am. Chandigarh Police stopped the protesting farmers near Geeta Bhawan in Sector 53.
When the farmers did not stop, the police used water cannons to disperse the protesters. Some protesting farmers also sustained minor injuries. The injured farmers were admitted to the civil hospital in Phase VI by Mohali police. Farmer leader, Satnam Singh Pannu, said their main demand was scrapping of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which the Indian government recently signed recently and which would enable as many as 74 countries to sell their products in India without paying any tax.
“This deal will be implemented after the results of general elections is announced. It will destroy small businessmen and farmers. e want this deal to be scrapped,” Pannu added.
Another leader, Harpreet Singh Sidhwan, said they wanted the government to implement Swaminathan Report as no government was serious about farmers’ demand. “Around 4 lakh farmers have committed suicide but no government is speaking about their plight. We want the governments to listen to us, but every time our voice is crushed. We will make them listen,” Sidhwan added.
Sarwan Singh Pandher, another farmer leader, said Punjab government must direct banks to not attach property of farmers and the government must waive off the entire farmers’ debt. Meanwhile, the farmers will hold the protest till filing of report.
Hundreds of commuters also faced a tough time due to closed roads as a result of the protest.