CHANDIGARH: Scores of farmers from various parts of Punjab launched a three-day protest under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Sunday after they gathered at the Mohali-Chandigarh border to press the Centre to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee on a minimum support price for crops.
Heavy security arrangements were made ahead of the protest and traffic on certain roads was diverted to alternative routes, officials said.
Farmers from Haryana have also arrived at Panchkula where police personnel have been deployed in strength.
The farmers are demanding a withdrawal of the cases filed against them during the 2020-21 agitation against three farm laws of the Centre that have since been repealed, compensation and jobs to one of the family members of those who died during the protest, debt waiver and pension.
The SKM is an umbrella body of various farmer unions.
The farmers have announced that they will march to the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh to submit a memorandum of their demands to the Punjab governor.
Farmers from several parts of Punjab, including Ludhiana, Ferozepur and Sangrur, started gathering on the Mohali-Chandigarh border, near Phase-11 in Mohali, on Sunday.
They came on tractor-trolleys, cars and other vehicles with a cargo of essential items, including ration, bedding, utensils and cooking gas cylinders, for the three-day protest.
Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said hundreds of farmers have arrived at the protest site and many more are on their way.
One of the farmers said he left his village in Ferozepur around noon on Saturday and reached the Mohali-Chandigarh border around 2 am.
"There is a massive presence of farmers here. It reminds me of the farmers' gathering at Delhi's Singhu and Tikri borders during the year-long protest against the now-repealed farm laws," Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said.
The farmers have erected tents, set up a stage in the middle of the road and parked their vehicles, sporting flags of various farmer bodies.
Some of the farmers were seen preparing meals on the road.
The Punjab as well as the Chandigarh Police have beefed up security near the Mohali-Chandigarh border by putting up barricades and stationing water cannons.
In a traffic advisory, the Chandigarh Police said the roads from the Faidan barrier on Purv Marg leading towards the Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport in Mohali will be temporarily closed till November 28 in view of the agitation.
Police advised the commuters going towards the airport, Aerocity and Bestech Mall to take a right turn from the Faidan barrier and then a left turn from Sector 46/47/48/49/ chowk and head straight towards Airport Road in Mohali.
The Mohali Police, in a traffic advisory, said traffic on the stretch from the Jagatpura sector 48-49 traffic lights to the Bawa White House has been suspended till November 28.