Though the farmers' protest, led by Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), entered the third day here on Wednesday, it failed to garner any sympathy or support from the local residents and the shopkeepers, residing along the deputy commissioner complex road.
Contrarily, the locals submitted a memorandum to Sangrur deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind, complaining and protesting against the open defecation and urinating in front of their shops and in streets by the BKU protesters. They also demanded that the road be opened at least for one-way traffic.
Later, during the day, shopkeepers pulled down their shutters and tried to hand over the keys to deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa.
Independent municipal commissioner (MC) Manjit Kaur from ward number 19 led the protest and blocked the national highway for nearly two hours at railway station chowk. Before the blockade, the shopkeepers and residents had blocked the entire road leading to the DC office.
Kaur, along with shopkeepers, demanded immediate passage for the commuters on the road, which was entirely blocked by the protesting farmers.
Thind asked the city DSP Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa to look into the matter. Later, Dhindsa erected a temporary divider and opened half of the road to the daily commuters. After getting the assurance from the administration, the shopkeepers lifted the dharna.
Thind also called the BKU leaders and asked them to find out an amicable solution to the problem to which they agreed and requested him to arrange some urinals for protesting farmers. Thind told HT that he has asked the sub-divisional magistrate to find a solution to it. "Administration is already in the process of constructing make-shift toilets in front of 'Suvidha Centre'," added Thind.
Meanwhile, RTI activist Ravinder Mittal said farmers' protest was not against the Badal government but was sponsored by the Badals to indirectly oppose the Narendera Modi government's 'Land Acquisition Bill'.
On the other hand, BKU district president Amrik Singh Gandua led a peaceful protest march in the city. Women joined the protest march holding photographs of the farmers who had committed suicides.
Speaking on the occasion, various kisan leaders demanded implementation of the Swaminathan report and enhancement of compensation to Rs 5 lakh to the families of deceased farmers. They also demanded government job for one member of the family of the deceased farmer and bring farmers, who have less than five acre of land, under ambit of MANREGA scheme.