Farmers in Punjab and Haryana protest towards farm legal guidelines; block roads

Tribune News Service
November 5

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana on Thursday put up road blockades at many places as part of a nationwide ‘chakka jam’ agitation in protest against three central farm laws, and demanded that these be withdrawn.

The call for the nationwide ‘chakka jam’ from 12 noon to 4 pm was given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

Farmers block national highway- 44 near Nilokhedi on Thursday. Tribune photo. 

Protesting farmers owing allegiance to different outfits blocked state and national highways at several places, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Though police authorities diverted traffic at many places, yet the commuters faced traffic snarls.

Farmers slammed the BJP-led government at the Centre for bringing the “black laws” and expressed fear that these legislations would destroy the farming community and would only “benefit” big corporate houses.

Punjab farmers’ bodies also lashed out at the Centre for suspending goods trains in the state that has affected supply of coal, fertiliser and other essential items.

Bharatiya Kisan union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said they have put up road blockades at 35 places, including Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa, Barnala, Patiala, Ludhiana, in Punjab as part of the ‘chakka jam’ protest.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said their members blocked roads at 45 places in 10 districts of Punjab.

Farmers blocked the link road near Solakhian toll plaza in Rupnagar district after police diverted traffic towards this road.

Members of various farmers’ bodies protesting in Sangrur district. Tribune photo.

State convener of the youth wing of Kirti Kisan Union, Bhupinder Longowal, said that the members of bodies have blocked roads at Barnala Kanchiya in Sangrur city, ITI chowk Sunam, Grewal Chownk Malerkotla, Kakarwal Chownk Dhuri, Katron Chownk sherpur, Jakhal road Lehra and Sangrur-Patiala road at Bhawanigarh.

“The members of various bodies have finalized the protest sites and we have blocked the roads. More residents will also join in a short time,” said Longowal.

The protests are also witnessing the participation of children and the elderly.

A farmer, Balwinder Singh from Sangrur, alleged that the farm laws will end the farming sector of the country.

“We would not end protest till the rollback of the latest laws…though the central government has done it, Punjab government is also not serious and they are doing politics rather than taking concrete steps,” said Jagmohan Singh, General secretary of BKU Dakaunda.

In Ludhiana, even though the call for ‘Bharat bandh’ evoked little or no response in city markets, all three main highways around the city – Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road at Kohara, Jalandhar- Ludhiana GT Road at Ladhowal Toll Plaza and Ludhiana-Firozepur National Highway at Chowki Mann (near Jagraon) were blocked by hundreds of farmers.

The farmers, led by Bharti Kisan Union, Lakhowal had blocked the vehicular traffic at 12.00 noon. Activists of BKU-Kadian were squatting on GT Road near Ladhowal Toll Plaza, while farmers had obstructed vehicular traffic at Chowki Mann near Jagraon after holding a protest at nearby Akahra canal bridge.

In Patiala, farmers’ unions blocked major highways connecting the city to nearby areas. BKU Dakaunda held a protest at the Toll plaza Shutrana, Passiana, at Banda bahadur chowk in Samana and the toll plaza near village Kalyan, Shambhu among other places.

Meanwhile, the Ugrahan group was holding a protest at the thermal power plant in Rajpura.

Children and women are part of the protest in large numbers. The protest at Shambhu witnesssed a gathering of 3,000 people who blocked the roads in protest.

Farmers said they will continue the protests until they are revoked.

Sucha Singh of BKU Dakaunda said they are holding a protest at over 9 places on highways. “Farmers from all nearby areas and villages are participating in the protest at their nearby locations”, he added.

While the highways were blocked, the markets in Patiala city remained open. The traffic on roads in Patiala city and Nabha meanwhile remained low.

On the call of various farmer organisations for ‘Bharat Band’, the farmers have blocked road traffic at many places in the Moga district.

The BKU (Kaddian), BKU (Maan) and Kirti Kissan Union District Moga blocked the Moga-Ferozepur national highway in front of the mini secretariat in the Moga city.

Tarlochan Singh Gill, former president of the Kisan cell of BJP, Punjab, also joined this protest. He recently resigned from the BJP over the controversial farm legislations.

Activists of BKU Ekta Ugrahan protested in front of the Silo of Adani group of industries at village Dagru and blocked the Moga-Ferozpur highway. There was a gathering of more than 1,000 farmers, including women.

The Kirti Kissan Union, Naujwan Bharat Sabha, BKU (Lakhowal), Aartia Association Block Baghapurana staged a protest on the main chowk Baghapurana town and blocked the Moga-Bathinda highway.

The BKU (Lakhowal), CPI, Narega Rujgar Prapti Union, All India Anganwari Worker/Helper union and many other trade unions supported the farmers’ agitation and staged a protest in the main chowk at Nihal Singh Wala town in the district.

The Kul Hind Kissan Sabha (CPI), BKU (Kadian), BKU (Maan) staged a protest near Baba Gendi Raam at Dharamkot town and blocked Moga-Jalandhar highway.

The activists of BKU (Rajewal), BKU (Maan) staged a protest in Baba Nidhan Singh Chowk at Kot-ise-Khan town and blocked the Moga-Amritsar highway.

The activists of BKU Ekta faction blocked the Moga-Kotkapura highway at Toll Plaza outside the Chand Purana village and raised slogans against the NDA government.

The renowned film actor Yograj Singh also joined this protest for 5 minutes, then he moved towards Kotakpura side to join other protests.

The BKU (Krantikari) District Moga staged a protest on the main bus stand at Ajitwal and blocked Moga-Ludhiana highway.

The Kirti Kissan Union Block Moga sat on a dharna on the Railway Track at village Dagru in the Moga district.

The Kissan Sangarsh Committee (Piddi Group) staged a protest in front of the Church in Moga city and blocked the Moga-Amritsar highway.

Earlier, they planned the dharna in front of DC office complex at Moga but later they shifted their dharna to the front of Church, Moga to Moga-Amritsar road.

The CPI staged a protest at Badhni Kalan and blocked the Moga-Barnala national highway.

The civil and police officials have claimed that the law and order situation was peaceful in the district till the filing of this news report.

The BKU Ekta General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri while claiming that all the major national and state highways were blocked in the state said that the NDA government must realise the fact that the farmers of the state and other parts of the country were against the recently introduced farm legislations. The government must relent and roll back these ‘black laws, he demanded.

He warned that the agitation will be further intensified if the NDA government did not roll back these legislations.

Farmers accused AAP leaders of holding parallel protest

The farmers and Aam Aadmi Party workers headed by AAP district president Navdeep Singh Jeeda entered into a heated argument at farmers protest at Kahniya chowk in Bathinda.

Farmers alleged that AAP leaders reached their protest site and started holding a parallel protest. However, AAP leaders denied holding a parallel protest.

It is learnt that AAP leaders went to the farmers’ protest and sat on one side and started shouting slogans. Irked over which farmers told them to go away as they are holding parallel protest here, which led to a heated spat between them.

In Haryana, farmers blocked National Highway-44 near Karnal’s Raipur Roran village on Thursday to protest the three continuous farm laws.

Farmers block national highway- 44 near Nilokhedi on Thursday. Tribune photo.

Farmers from Karnal, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Panchkula are participating in the protest.

Karnal police made a heavy deployment of security personnel near the village on the national highway as farmers were going to protest there between 12 pm and 4 pm.

SDM Karnal Ayush Sinha was assigned to communicate with them to avoid the blockade at NH-44.

Farmers from Karnal, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Panchkula are participating in the protest. Tribune photo.

DC Nishant Kumar Yadav said that they have chalked a diversion plan for the smooth flow of traffic.

SP Ganga Ram Punia said that they have deployed additional security personnel on the NH-44 for maintaining the law and order situation.

Farmers under the banner of BKU have already announced that they will block NH-44 near Nilokheri.

Karnal police on Thursday made a heavy deployment of security personnel near Karnal’s Raipur village. Tribune photo.

Farmers are protesting The Farmers” Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020. The Farmers” Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 aims to permit the sale of agricultural produce outside the mandis regulated by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) constituted by different state legislations. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, provides for contract farming. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 deregulates the production, supply, distribution of food items like cereals, pulses, potatoes, onion and edible oilseeds.—with PTI 

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