Opposing the detention of farmers in the state, hundreds of women on Sunday stepped out of their houses to protest at Himmatpura village in this district.
The women raised slogans against the state government and asked it to free the activists of 17 agricultural trade unions, who are in jail on a charge of interrupting rail traffic during an agitation over input-cost rise.
“It's an unusual state, where criminals are free and poor farmers are in jail,” said Kuldeep Kaur Kussa, district leader of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU), who addressed the protesters at Himmatpura.
The state governments had failed to provide farmers with basic facilities, said Kussa. “Farmers battle the high prices of chemicals and fertilisers but the state government has paid no attention to it because capitalists don't want it to,” she added.
The BKU leader challenged chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to a debate with the state farmers, if he had any positive measure taken for them to highlight. “Rising fertiliser prices and declining farm produce are no bother to him,” she said.
The women demanded that Punjab be declared a state affected financially and farmers given promised free electricity, 250-square-yard plots, and inclusion in the Shagun scheme, the amount of assistance under which has been enhanced to Rs 51,000 each. For the dependents of the farmers who committed suicide, they sought adequate compensation.