Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightSunflower farmers...

Sunflower farmers block Delhi-Chandigarh Highway 44 in Haryana, police resort to lathi-charge and water cannons

Sunflower farmers block Delhi-Chandigarh Highway 44 in Haryana, police resort to lathi-charge and water cannons

Shahabad: Scores of farmers blocked the Delhi-Amritsar National Highway in Kurukshetra on Tuesday as part of their protest against the Haryana government’s decision to not buy sunflower seeds at the minimum support price (MSP).

The protesting farmers are demanding a minimum support price (MSP) for sunflower seeds. They claimed that the state government was not buying sunflower seeds at the MSP, and hence were forced to sell their produce to private buyers at around Rs 4,000 per quintal against Rs 6,400 MSP.

They sought procurement of sunflower seeds by the government at the MSP of Rs 6,400 per quintal.

The police resorted to lathi-charge and sprayed water cannons and lathi-charge to disperse the agitating farmers. The farmers sustained minor injuries and were detained by the police.

Earlier, the National Highway-44 which connects northern Indian states and union territories to the national capital had remained blocked for more than six hours, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Also Read:Allahabad HC allows juvenile to apply for anticipatory bail

The Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that NH-44 is the “life-line" of the country, directing the state to ensure free movement of traffic on the national highway “without any hindrance, so that the public at large, is not put to any kind of inconvenience”, reported LiveLaw.

The division bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul and Justice Manisha Batra however, made it clear that the administration should exercise utmost restraint and would use force to disperse the mob collected at the spot, only as a “last resort”.

It further directed Haryana's Chief Secretary to submit a report stating the steps taken in pursuance of the directions along with status report on next date, June 16, reports LiveLaw.

The police action was hence in line with the Punjab and Haryana high court orders, which directed the government to clear the blockade.

Since the farmers laid siege to the highway around 1 pm, repeated warnings were given to them by the police, but farmers, led by BKU (Charuni) president Gurnam Singh Charuni, remained adamant on their demand.

After the Haryana government declined to buy sunflower seeds at the MSP, Charuni called for farmers to reach Shahabad. Following a meeting, they decided to block the highway despite heavy deployment.

The protesters stormed the barricades and blocked the highway by parking their tractor-trailers laden with sunflower seed.

District police diverted traffic via link roads, resulting in inconvenience to the commuters who were stuck in traffic jams in Kurukshetra and Shahabad for hours. Kurukshetra Superintendent of police (SP) Surinder Bhoria said personnel had been deputed to assist commuters.

Bhoria said that most farmers detained during the police action were released soon after and only eight leaders including BKU (Charuni) president Gurnam Singh Charuni were in custody.

The SP further said that police had to remove farmers after repeated requests made to them to remove the blockade came to nought. He said the movement of traffic had been restored and the situation was under control.

Several farmers of another faction who were protesting at the grain market in Ambala Cantonment’s Mohra for the last four days were also removed by the police from outside the office of the market committee on Tuesday.

Tejveer Singh, a spokesperson of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh faction, said the state government has betrayed the farmers by not keeping their promise to procure the produce at MSP, adding, “The anti-farmers policies of the government have forced us to protest and now they are snatching our right to protest through force.”

The farmers also went on to block the Ambala-Yamunanagar highway at Kail village in protest against the police action later in the day. They were, however, removed by the police and their efforts to return to the site failed amid police presence.

Demanding the release of the detained farmer leaders including Charuni, protesters also blocked roads in parts of Kurukshetra, Karnal and Kaithal districts and have threatened to intensify the stir.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, meanwhile, said that he will reach Kurukshetra on Wednesday and urged farmers to join him in the city in large numbers.

Also Read:Vice President takes on Rahul Gandhi over his rear-view mirror remarks on Modi

Show Full Article
TAGS:Farmers' protestHaryana PoliceNH-44
Next Story