Day 19 of stir: Farmers ensure free travel for commuters at 18 Punjab toll plazas
The ongoing agitation under which the farmers owing allegiance to the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee are laying siege at 18 toll plazas in Punjab as a protest against the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government entered day 19 on Tuesday.
AMRITSAR: The ongoing agitation under which the farmers owing allegiance to the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) are laying siege at 18 toll plazas in Punjab as a protest against the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government entered day 19 on Tuesday.
The stir that commenced on December 15 is ensuring toll-free travel for commuters. The sit-in at toll plazas is part of the indefinite protest in front of the offices of deputy commissioners in Punjab which began on November 26. As per the latest announcement by KMSC, the protests will last till January 15.
In the Amritsar district, the protesters are assembled at the toll plazas at Kathu Nangal on the Amritsar-Pathankot national highway, Manawala on the Amritsar-Delhi national highway and Chhidan on the Amritsar-Attari national highway.
In Tarn Taran district, toll plazas at Usma and Manan have turned into protest sites, while they have laid siege at the toll plazas at Giddarpindi and Ferozeshah in Ferozepur district.
Besides, farmers started a sit-in at toll plazas in Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Moga, and Fazilka districts.
KMSC leaders said that their stir is providing the general public relief from the toll tax which is a heavy burden on them. KMSC senior leader from Tarn Taran Tajinderpal Singh said, “The chief minister Bhagwant Mann called a meeting with our leaders on December 28, but later it was cancelled. The state government is not even ready to talk about the demands which come under its jurisdiction. Altogether, the Mann government is adopting an indifferent attitude towards our concerns”.
“Tomorrow, our district-level meetings will be held, following which state leaders will meet to chalk out the next course of action,” he added.
On Tuesday, the protesters burnt the effigy of the chief minister and shouted slogans against the state government.
The demands of the protesters include checking drug smuggling; improving law and order; implementing the minimum support price (MSP) guarantee law for crops on the lines of the Kerala government; hiking wages of labourers under MGNREGA; making a concrete policy to save Punjab’s waters; providing guarantee for alternative crops to paddy; meeting pending demands of the Delhi morcha (protest); revoking decisions that deprive states of exercising their rights; acting against culprits of the Lakhimpur Kheri episode; and exemplary punishment to culprits of the Bargari sacrilege and Behbal Kalan police firing in 2015.
The KMSC general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said, “We are getting a huge response from the general public as toll plazas are benefiting corporates and looting the public.”