DEHRADUN: Farmers from Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand have started a free bus service to ferry farmers to Delhi where their counterparts have been protesting against the newly passed agri laws.
The service which started on Saturday will be available twice a week on Monday and Thursday.
"The expenses will be borne by local Gurudwara committees for now and the plan is to expand the service to 3-4 days soon. We all stand with farmers of this country in solidarity and will do everything in our capacity to get these anti-farmer farm laws rolled back," said Ajit Singh Randhawa, a farmer from Bajpur town of Udham Singh Nagar district.
More than 20,000 farmers from the district have joined others in Delhi at the protest site.
The farmers from the district said that they plan to expand the service to all other parts of the district which include Rudrapur, Gadarpur, Khatima, Kiccha, Kashipur and Sitarganj tehsils.
A trip from Bajpur to Ghazipur border at the protest site costs between Rs 12000-15000 which will be bored by the local committee as well as many farmers and empathisers who have come forward to contribute.
Bijendra Singh Dogra, another farmer from the district said, Our objective is to help our brothers to get to the protest site and family members of those who have been there for more than 15-20 days now. This way family members could see each other."
Balvinder Kaur (34) from Khatima says it has been 22 days since her husband joined the protests while she helms affairs at home with her two sons one 4-year-old and another 9-year old.
Last month, Uttarakhand police registered a case against over 1000 farmers after they marched towards Delhi breaking the barricading by Udham Singh Nagar district police.
The police had tried to stop the farmers by force responding to which the farmers defied the ban and went ahead.
The case has been registered under sections 147 (Rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.), 353 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger¬ous to life.) and under 51 b of Disaster Management Act 2005.
The district with 42% of agricultural produce leads among 13 districts of Uttarakhand state in terms of agriculture and is also known as the food bowl of the state. With a variety of crops like rice, wheat, maize, barley, sugarcane and others the district produces enough to fulfill the food requirements of the population of the state of over 1.15 crore.
The ‘terai’ district is known for the cultivation of the crops like rice, wheat, sugarcane, maize and soybean and cropping pattern is an ideal way to spot the trend of the various crops grown across various parts of the district.
Also known as "Chawa ki Nagari" (Ricebowl) of the state, farmers belonging to the district have registered their presence in ongoing protests in Delhi-NCR.