Patiala: The rail block attempt on Wednesday by eight farmers organizations protesting against the alleged failure of the state government to save agriculture in the district was successfully foiled by the police.
The district administration had deputed heavy police force on several spots. Patiala railway station became a police cantonment under the command of SSP Gurmeet Singh Chouhan, present at the spot since morning to stop the farmers from blocking rails.
The police took into the custody all protesting famers and leaders of the union before they could stage any protest. Anyone wearing green turbans and all farmers — especially those seen around railway tracks and the railway station, were also taken into custody as a precautionary measure.
Farmers also raised anti-government slogans and also gathered at the Dhablan village railway station to block the rail track, but cops had been stationed there too,
Another group of farmers was arrested in front of the Pasiana police station, while they were going to join the protest on their vehicles. Police officials informed that about 150 protesting farmers were taken into custody.
“The police didn’t allow us to take out our protest. Though we have taken the compensation amount, we are satisfied and will continue to fight for `40,000 per acre compensation. About `3,800 crore is needed to compensate farmers who faced losses due to the whitefly attack. The government has cheated the farmers by providing duplicate pesticides. We will not stop our agitation until the government meets our demands,” a union leader said.
MP condemns protest
Member of Parliament Dharamvira Gandhi, who was in the city to join the protest, said, “The inconvenience caused to common people was due to the state government and not due to farmers. The government is responsible for the failure of agriculture in the state.”
He condemned the police action on the farmers.
“The pesticide scam is not limited only to the agriculture director, chief minister Badal and agriculture minister Tota Singh are also responsible for the agriculture failure,” he added.