CHANDIGARH: With the two key farm bills getting passed in the Parliament, thousands of farmers across Punjab and Haryana took to streets to register their protest on Sunday. Though there were no incidents of violence reported, the protests blocked all the state and national highways across Haryana amid a heavy police deployment.
Effigies of PM Narendra Modi and copies of farm bills were set on fire by thousands of farmers across Punjab who went on to term it a black day in the history of the country. The bills, farmers allege, are equivalent to a death warrant for them that will destroy their livelihood.
Ambala-Roorkee NH near Milk Majra village of Yamunanagar district, Panchkula-Barwala-Nahan national highway, Jind Karnal highway, Ambala-Hisar Highways were blocked near Titram Mor in Kaithal. The protesting farmers also blocked the road in Kandela village of Jind as they were also supported by commission agents.
The protesters were also joined by Independent MLA from Mehem, Balraj Kundu and JJP MLA Jogi Ram Sihag from Sarsod village who offered to resign for the farmers' cause. The JJP is in an alliance with BJP in Haryana.
Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) President Gurnam Singh Charuni led the protest in Yamunanagar and said that the state government registered false cases on farmers and also tried to divide farmers but it failed on all fronts. "I want to assure the farmers that the agitation will continue till the Central government withdraws these bills," he said and added that the next course of action will be decided after meeting with leaders of other farmer unions. He claimed that many MLAs also supported their protests and urged the farmers to support the Bharat Bandh call given on September 25.
The cops who were deployed at these sites did not stop the farmers but managed the traffic.
Meanwhile, protesters across Punjab raised slogans against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The farmers from Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Sangrur, Barnala, and other places have expressed their apprehensions that these three bills will pave a way for dismantling the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.
The Punjab Youth Congress took out a tractor rally from Mohali to Delhi but it was stopped by the Haryana Police in Ambala. They broke the police barricaded and were met with water cannons.
Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar said all parties, except the Akali Dal and the BJP, are standing with the farmers for their cause. "After seeing the farmers' anger, Sukhbir Singh Badal had to change his stand on the farm bills issue. Farmers have broken his arrogance,’’ said Jakhar.
Punjab Youth Congress chief Barinder Singh Dhillon said this is the beginning of the fight for the rights of farmers.
Black balloons were also released in the air by activists of the Punjab Youth Congress as a mark of protest.
Meanwhile, Savidhan Bachao Manch in Mansa appealed people to boycott and not allow any BJP leader or worker to enter in any village or town in the state. "As BJP is taking anti-people decisions, people should leave the BJP and should make sure that none of the programs of the party is allowed in any village or town in the state,’’ said Gurlabh Singh Mahal of Savidhan Bachao Manch, which was constituted to protest against union government’s NRC.
Due to the farmers' protest in neighboring states, the Delhi Police has deployed its personnel at border areas as a precautionary measure.