As part of the indefinite state-level protest of labourers and farmers, hundreds of activists of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU) and Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) locked the main gate of the deputy commissioner's office here on Tuesday.
Angry protesters also blocked traffic on the Moga-Ferozepur national highway for two hours and raised anti-SAD slogans. Due to this several people who had come to the DC's office in connection with official work had to face harassment.
Though activists of PKMU and BKU have been sitting on dharna for the past 11 days in support of their demands, protesters gathered outside the DC's office and locked the main gate. Both organisations also warned that if the Punjab government fails to provide basic facilities to the protesting farmers and labourers, the PKMU and BKU would start protest against the government at the district headquarters across the state.
Farmer and labourer leaders asked the government to stop arresting farmers and agriculture workers who were unable to pay their debt.
Addressing the gathering, Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, state general secretary of BKU said, "The Punjab government has completely failed to fulfil genuine demands of labourers and farmers as it had promised to fulfil the same during the assembly elections."
"Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal promoted policies that drove hundreds of farmers to suicide. The state government was a wager in the hands of capitalists and the former was indifferent to the plight of farmers, especially in view of the rising cost of farm inputs and dwindling returns from produce," he said.
Major Singh Kaleke, president of the PKMU, said the state government should give `3 lakh and a government job to the family of every debt-ridden farmer and agriculture worker, who had committed suicide, as it had already made an announcement in this regard. He also demanded that the entire debt of the labourers should be written off immediately.
The PKMU leader warned the government that during the next agitation effigies of the chief minister would be burnt simultaneously across the state.