Angry over their demands not being met, hundreds of farmers on Sunday blocked the Amritsar-Sri Ganganagar National Highway near Rasoolpur Nehran village, 4km from here, and burnt the effigy of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The protesters were led by Satnam Singh Pannu, president of Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC), that has a strong presence in the district.
The protesters gathered at Gurdwara Gurusar Sahib of the village and marched towards the highway while shouting slogans against the government. Later, the protesters staged a dharna on the road and burnt Badal’s effigy.
Pannu demanded adequate compensation for the harassment suffered by farmers during the lathicharge on protesting farmers outside the office of PSPCL in Amritsar on February 21, 2014. He also sought cancellation of false cases registered against farmers for organising protests.
The protesters said farmers were being looted as their crops were not being purchased at a proper rate. “Such anti-farmer policies will eventually lead to suicides by distressed farmers. Low support price for basmati is a major concern,” said KSC general secretary Sawinder Singh Chutala.
Posing threat to the ruling SAD, Chutala said their organisation will hold meetings in 544 villages of the district to mobilise people against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance during the Khadoor Sahib bypoll, slated to be held on February 13. He said they would stage a dharna outside the office of Khadoor Sahib SDM for an indefinite period from February 6 onwards.
It is notable that during a sangat darshan programme recently held in the assembly segment, the chief minister had faced a protest by members of farmer organisations of the district, who had shown black flags to the CM.
Compensation for loss and harassment suffered by farmers during a lathicharge on protesters outside the office of PSPCL in Amritsar on February 21, 2014.
Cancellation of false cases registered against farmers for organising protests.
Compensation for basmati growers who faced huge financial loss during the last season due to low minimum support price.
Implementation of report of Swaminathan commission at the earliest.
Bring all crops under organised government procurement system.