Farmers in Sriganganagar on Thursday said that they will observe 'black Diwali' to protest the BJP-led government's "oppressive" steps towards their demands of water for their crops and for the release of those arrested during agitation since October 10.
"Who can celebrate Diwali under curfew conditions, and when hundreds of farmers are in jail there is no way to enjoy," Amraram, a lone CPI(M) MLA leading the 'Kisan Majdoor Vypar Sangarsh Samiti' agitation said from Ghadsana.
Amraram said this was the third consecutive year when the farmers were demanding irrigation water for their Rabi crop which was on the verge of withering due to hot weather and lack of water.
"We are moving door to door requesting people to observe black Diwali in support of their (farmers) demands," he said.
He said despite regulation of rotation of water supply the first phase farmers required immediate water supply, otherwise the crop prospects would weaken.
Meanwhile, curfew was on Thursday relaxed for two hours from 0800 to 1000 hrs in the troubled towns of Ghadsana and Rawala which witnessed clashes between farmers and police on October 16, Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh said.
"As soon as the complete normalcy returns, the day curfew would be lifted and till then it would be relaxed in phased manner," Singh said, adding the district adiministration was monitoring the situation round the clock which was peaceful and incident free since October 17.