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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Protests against Farm Bills: Haryana roads blocked, effigies burnt in Punjab

On a call from 17 farm unions in Haryana, farmers blocked portions of roads and highways at several places between 12 and 3 pm. Arhtiyas (commission agents at mandis) too joined in.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: September 21, 2020 2:45:29 am
Haryana farmers protest, farm bills, farmers block roads, patriotic songs, Chandigarh news, Indian express newsThe farmers fear that the new legislations will end the minimum support price (MSP) regime. (File)

Protesting against the farm Bills, farmers in Haryana Sunday blocked roads, including state and national highways, and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in neighbouring Punjab.

On a call from 17 farm unions in Haryana, farmers blocked portions of roads and highways at several places in the state between 12 and 3 pm. Arhtiyas (commission agents at mandis) too joined the protesters.

Heavy police force was deployed on the national highways and state highways. The police diverted the traffic to alternative routes. Executive magistrates were stationed along with police at many protest venues.

Ambala-Nahan national highway near Naraingarh, Jind-Patiala and Jind-Delhi roads near Julana and Sonipat-Gohana highway were among the roads blocked in Haryana. Traffic was also disrupted on Ambala-Chandigarh highway due to the protests by the Punjab Youth Congress activists. But there was no blockade on the Ambala-Delhi road.

In Ambala, Haryana Police used a water cannon at the state’s border to stop Punjab Youth Congress workers from entering the district and travelling ahead to Delhi as part of their “tractor rally”.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Bains said, “The roads were blocked at 13 places in Karnal district. Similarly, the farmers blocked roads at five places in Kurukshetra district. We have received similar reports from other parts of the state too where the farmers joined the protests in large numbers”.

In Yamunanagar, Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh said, “It is the country’s misfortune that despite the farmers’ protest these bills were passed.” He called it a “murder of democracy”.

“Laws are for people and if they are the ones who are protesting then for whose benefit have they been passed?” he said. “These laws are not pro-farmers as the government claims, but the big corporates will benefit.”

He said the statewide protest was peaceful and 17 farmers’ organisations extended their support.

The farmers also blocked roads at Kandela village of Jind district which was the epicentre of farmers’ stir in 2002.

Varun Chaudhary, the Haryana Congress MLA from Mullana in Ambala who joined the protest at Mandour village near Panjokhra Sahib, said the bills were not a “shield for farmers” but for hoarders.

Meham Independent MLA, Balraj Kundu, who protested in Rohtak and Charkhi Dadri districts, claimed the bills will benefit the corporates. “From October 2, I will sit on a fast to protest against these anti-farmer measures,” he said.

Farmers at several places in Punjab burnt effigies and copies of the farm bills, claiming that the new laws will destroy their livelihood.

“We will decide the next course of action at a meeting in New Delhi on September 27. We will support All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee’s call for Bharat Bandh on September 25,” Rakesh Bains said. Over 250 farmer and farm worker organisations under the umbrella of the committee have given a call for “Bharat Bandh” to oppose three farm Bills.

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