Noida: On International Yoga Day, farmers protest with asanas | noida | Hindustan Times
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Noida: On International Yoga Day, farmers protest with asanas

Farmers of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) practised yoga on the road at Pari Chowk, holding up traffic

noida Updated: Jun 21, 2017 23:32 IST
Sohil Sehran
Besides protesting alleged anti-farmer policies of the state and Central governments, the farmers also demanded that the killing of farmers in Madhya Pradesh be probed at the earliest and the guilty be punished.
Besides protesting alleged anti-farmer policies of the state and Central governments, the farmers also demanded that the killing of farmers in Madhya Pradesh be probed at the earliest and the guilty be punished.(HT Photo)

Utilising the occasion of International Day of Yoga to garner public attention, over 200 farmers under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) practised yoga and protested against the state and Central governments over alleged anti-farmer policies at Pari Chowk.

The protest held up the traffic during the morning rush hour. The protest started at 9am and lasted for two hours, leading vehicles to line up and subsequently, causing a heavy jam. Besides protesting the policies, the farmers also demanded that the killing of farmers in Madhya Pradesh be probed at the earliest and the guilty be punished.

Farmers’ protests that started in the state on June 1 in Madhya Pradesh, demanding better prices for their produce and debt relief, turned violent on June 6 when five farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur. The violence spilt to several other districts, including the Malwa-Nimad area and even reached the state capital of Bhopal.

The protesters in Noida alleged that governments, instead of mitigating the sufferings of farmers, are holding them responsible for the violence. Farmers’ voices are not being heard and adequate steps are not been taken by governments to make their life easier, the protesters alleged.

“We came here to create awareness among the public about yoga and also inform them how farmers have failed miserably to save their own lives. It is our right to demand better prices for agricultural produce,” said Ajaypal Sharma, district president, BKU, Gautam Budh Nagar.

Farmers also demanded that the charges of violence levelled against them should be dropped.

“The government should make a pro-farmer policy that will ensure better prices for their produce. It should also focus on resolving loans as farmers are committing suicides because of debt,” Sharma said.

To mark their protest, farmers and members of the BKU said they had not taken permission from the district administration or traffic police.

Chaudhary Mahinder Singh, state vice-president of BKU, said, “We live in a democratic nation and we do not need permission from anyone. We took a bold step to create awareness among people on yoga day.”

Due to the protest, traffic had to be diverted. “The protest was sudden and we only had the option of diverting traffic. Personnel quickly identified alternative routes and helped commuters to cross the stretch,” Anil Kumar Jha, SP (traffic), said.