Upset over not being heard by the government during the “Pakka Morcha” (indefinite protest) outside the deputy commissioner’s office here, protesting farmers on Thursday marched towards the residence of Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia to gherao it, but the cops foiled their bid.
Stopped from approaching Majithia’s residence, around 500 agitators under the banner of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) sat in dharna at a place, which is at a few meters from the residence, located at Green Avenue locality blocking a road also. The protesters included a sizeable number of women.
Simultaneously, the ‘Pakka Morcha’ has been also been continuing since Monday. Deputy commissioner Varun Roojam, police commissioner Amar Singh Chahal and sub-divisional magistrate Rohit Gupta approached the agitators, but the farmers did not lift the dharna.
Harpreet Singh, a spokesperson of the farmers organisation, said the government had not made concrete efforts to meet their demands, despite chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s assurances in this regard at various meetings. He said Amritsar deputy commissioner and police commissioner are doing nothing except paying lip service to them, in view of this, they had decided to gherao Majithia’s residence.
President Satnam Singh Pannu said, “Now, the protest will continue outside DC office as well as at the Green Avenue till their demands, including relief of `10 lakh each to families of the farmers who have committed suicide due to debt are met”.
Till the filing of the report, sit-ins continued at both places. Due to the blockade and sloganeering against the government, the residents are suffering a lot. Led by senior officials, including DCP J Elanchazhian and ADCP-1 Harwinder Singh, a heavy police force has been deployed to prevent the agitators from approaching the minister’s residence.
The other demands include implementation of the Swaminathan panel report on the minimum support price (MSP) of food crops and fixing of MSP for all varieties of basmati besides government procurement.