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Farmers halt toll collection on Haryana highways; shut down power supply to Jio towers in Punjab

According to officials, toll collection was halted either past midnight or from early Friday morning at several toll points in the state.

Published: 25th December 2020 12:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2020 12:35 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers raise slogans during their protest against the Center's new farm laws at Ghazipur border in New Delhi Thursday Dec. 24 2020. (Photo | PTI)

By Agencies

CHANDIGARH: Responding to a call given by the Bharatiya Kisan Union, farmers protesting the Centre's new farm laws halted toll collection on most highways in Haryana on Friday.

According to officials, toll collection was halted either past midnight or from early Friday morning at several toll points in the state.

While at many places, farmers took over toll plazas not allowing authorities to collect fees from commuters, at other places toll employees themselves halted the process in view of the protest.

The toll plaza employees allowed vehicles to pass through without paying any charge.

A few days ago, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) had announced that toll booths in Haryana would not be allowed to collect toll from December 25 to 27.

Farmers halted operation of toll plazas on NH-44 at Bastara in Karnal.

They also halted toll collection process at another plaza located on the Karnal-Jind highway, at Khuian Malkana toll plaza at Dabwali in Sirsa district and at Makrauli Kalan on Rohtak-Panipat highway.

However toll was being collected as usual on Friday morning at Kherki Daula toll plaza in Gurgaon.

BKU leader Jagjeet Singh Dalewala had a few ago said, "From December 25 to 27 all toll booths in Haryana will not be allowed by us to collect toll, we will stop them from doing so.

Meanwhile, farmers protesting against the three farm laws in Punjab's Mansa have shut the power supply to several Reliance Jio towers here, disrupting the telecom giant's services in parts of the state.

One of the protesters, Avatar Singh said that the supply will not be restored until "black" laws are repealed.

"We have stopped power supply of Jio towers. We will continue to boycott Jio and Reliance until the black laws against farmers are revoked. We will not let anybody to run it. Everyone is supporting it. Modi government has brought these laws for the benefit of corporates," Singh told ANI.

Another protester Manpreet Singh said: "We are opposing Reliance and Jio. Until farm laws are repealed, power supply to these towers will not be restored."

Earlier, Reliance Jio has written to the Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) seeking strict action against Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea for "unethical practices" and "unscrupulous violations" and to stop campaigns under which "false propaganda is being spread across the country to get some additional MNP port-ins" by "capitalising on the ongoing farmer protest in the northern parts of the country".

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at various border points of Delhi for around a month as the stalemate between the government and the protesters, who are demanding a repeal of the three new agri laws, continued without any signs of a breakthrough.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the opposition of misleading the farmers.

(With PTI and ANI Inputs)



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