Raising their voice against the three central farm laws, the Haryana farmers Thursday blocked roads including national and state highways at 26 places.
In Fatehabad district, the roads were blocked at more than half a dozen places. A farmer leader Mandeep Nathwan claimed the roads were blocked in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Karnal, Jind, Palwal, Rewari, Jhajjar and Nuh districts. A police officer admitted the roads were blocked at 26 places but claimed that the presence of protesters was thin in comparison to the agitation of September 25. However, Nathwan said, “It’s difficult for a farmer to come out during the ongoing sowing season. Despite that the presence of farmers at dharnas was encouraging.”
BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni also said the farmers participated in the agitation with full enthusiasm as “they know this is the question of their survival”.
At a spot on Fatehabad-Chandigarh highway near Bhuna town, the farmers blocked the road for three hours from 12 noon to 3 pm. They had already decided to reduce the blockade period by one hour keeping in view the ongoing harvesting season of cotton and paddy apart from the sowing season of wheat.
The government has repeatedly insisted that MSP of crops won’t be touched even after introduction of the new laws adding the mandi system will also stay. The farmers, however, have apprehensions. “Similar law was introduced in Bihar where there is no MSP of crops now. The same situation will be here sooner or later. Initially, the corporates will be buying our crops at high rates to defunct the current mandi system. Once the mandi system collapses, they will buy our crops at very low prices. Slowly, the capitalists will start purchasing our land and we will turn labourers on our own land,” said farmer Gurbachan Singh. “As farmers, we feel cornered as there won’t be provision of approaching court in case of any dispute with the corporates arose with them regarding contract farming,” he added.
An ex-serviceman Captain Ram Kishan (retd) too joined the agitators. “It appears the farmers are being forced to leave agriculture by introducing anti-farmer policies. This appears an attempt to create more labour for the foreign companies,” he said.
A local farmer leader Ram Swarup Dhani Gopal said, “Now, a provision of Rs 1 crore fine and five year jail term has been made for those found indulging in stubble burning. The farmers go for stubble burning in the absence of adequate support from the government including provision of machines to process the crop residue. The farmers can’t pay the penalty even if they sell their entire land holding.”
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