Farmers lathicharged at Pipli near Kurukshetra for defying prohibitory orders, finally given nod to hold rally
Farmers led by Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Haryana chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni blocked the Delhi-Chandigarh highway for more than two hours in protest; blockade lifted after district administration relentedUpdated: Sep 10, 2020, 21:08 IST
Police resorted to mild lathicharge on farmers at Pipli Chowk near Kurukshetra on Thursday for defying prohibitory orders as they were headed to the grain market to take part in a rally against the Centre’s recent agriculture ordinances.
Hundreds of activists, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chaduni, blocked the Chandigarh-Delhi national highway (NH-44) in the morning when they were prevented from reaching the grain market, inconveniencing commuters and causing a traffic jam.
A few farmers also sustained injuries as police used force to stop them from entering the grain market. After two-and-a-half hours, the Kurukshetra district administration relented and allowed the farmers to head to the grain market much to the relief of the commuters stranded on the highway.
Deputy commissioner Sharandeep Kaur Brar said, “The farmers lifted the blockade and the movement of traffic was restored. The farmers have been allowed to hold the rally but they have to maintain (Covid) norms.”
“The administration is responsible for this situation. We have a right to protest peacefully but they want to suppress our voice. We will continue our fight and force the Centre to withdraw its anti-farmer and anti-arhtiya (commission agent) ordinances. They are using coronavirus as an excuse to suppress our voice,” Chaduni said.
Police also released some farmers who were detained during the protest. While addressing the farmers, Chaduni termed it as their first victory. He said the fight will continue until the Centre withdraws its anti-farmer ordinances and brings in a law to ensure that all farmers get the benefit of Minimum Support Price.
Chaduni, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Haryana assembly elections on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket, accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of forcing farmers to hold protests by bringing ordinances in the name of agriculture reforms.
In video message, he said the farmers have decided to protest at district headquarters on September 15 and all roads in Haryana will be blocked if the state government fails to withdraw the ordinances.
The farmers were protesting the three ordinances passed by the Union cabinet in June: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance; and the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance.
While the government says the ordinances will create an environment where farmers and traders have free choice of sale and purchase, farmers claim that with these ordinances, the government is planning to discontinue the minimum support price (MSP) regime.