Tribune News Service
Karnal/Sangrur, 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as part of a nationwide ‘chakka jam’ agitation in protest against three central farm laws, and demanded that these be withdrawn.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.
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.
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 general public is being requested to avoid using tribune chowk to zirakpur barrier road due to Kissan Dharna. Inner and outer both motorists are requested to co-operate with @trafficchd#WeCareForYou@RJMeenakshi1 @927bigfmchd @redfmchandigarh
— Chandigarh Traffic Police (@trafficchd) November 5, 2020
“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 Haryana, farmers blocked National Highway-44 near Karnal’s Raipur Roran village on Thursday to protest the three continuous farm laws.
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.
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.
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