Hundreds of farmers blocked traffic on the Patiala-Nabha road for around six hours today, putting commuters to inconvenience in scorching heat. The farmers also held a rally in front of the deputy commissioner office at mini-secretariat in Patiala to protest against government move to take possession of agricultural land from farmers and in support of their other demands.
The protestors, under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda), handed over a memorandum on their demands to deputy commissioner GK Singh.
Speaking at the rally, Darshan Pal, district president of union, said the state government should stop taking possession of land from farmers possessing 'girdawari', especially in Ghaggar area.
"The government is playing with the lives of hundreds of farmers in this area by taking possession of their lands. The farmers in Ghaggar area have girdawari in the name of their ancestors and were ploughing the land for the past two decades," he said.
Darshan urged the government to enact a special law to allow ownership rights to those farmers who were still irrigating and ploughing the land.
The protestors also demanded waiving off canal water charges, which the ruling alliance promised in its election manifesto in the last assembly elections.
"Despite the promise, the irrigation department was sending notices to farmers in many villages, asking them to pay last year's charges for using canal water for irrigation," claimed the protestors.
The union asked the state government to pressure the UPA government at the Centre to roll back the recent petrol price hike. They also demanded compensation to the family member of farmers who had committed suicide in the past decade.
Meanwhile, the protesting farmers sent the officials of revenue department empty-handed when they went to take possession of their land in Nanansu and Charasu villages on Saturday.