Farmers lathicharged at Pipli near Kurukshetra for defying prohibitory orders, finally given nod to hold rally – cities
Police resorted to mild lathicharge on farmers at Pipli Chowk near Kurukshetra on Thursday for defying prohibitory orders as they were headed to the grain market to take part in a rally against the Centre’s recent agriculture ordinances.
Hundreds of activists, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chaduni, blocked the Chandigarh-Delhi national highway (NH-44) from 11.30am when they were prevented from reaching the grain market, inconveniencing commuters and causing a traffic jam.
“The administration is responsible for this situation. We have a right to protest peacefully but they want to suppress our voice. We will continue our fight and force the Centre to withdraw its anti-farmer and anti-arhtiya (commission agent) ordinances. They are using coronavirus as an excuse to suppress our voice,” Chaduni said.
After two-and-a-half hours, the Kurukshetra district administration relented and allowed the farmers to head to the grain market much to the relief of the commuters stranded on the highway.
Deputy commissioner Sharandeep Kaur Brar said, “The farmers have lifted the blockade and the movement of traffic has been restored. The farmers have been allowed to hold the rally but they have to maintain (Covid) norms.”
Chaduni, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Haryana assembly elections on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket, accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of forcing farmers to hold protests by bringing ordinances in the name of agriculture reforms. The farmers were protesting the three ordinances passed by the Union cabinet in June: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance; and the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance.
While the government says the ordinances will create an environment where farmers and traders have free choice of sale and purchase, farmers claim that with these ordinances, the government is planning to discontinue the minimum support price (MSP) regime.