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Farmers’ Vidhan Sabha march foiled by cops, detained at multiple places in Rajasthan

State police along with personnel of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary and Special Task Force were deployed along the highways to stop the vehicles in the farmers were travelling to Jaipur.

jaipur Updated: Feb 22, 2018 22:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur/Sikar
Rajasthan news,Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha,Tatiyawas
Farmers who were stopped from marching towards Jaipur, block the highway at Reengus, in Sikar, on Thursday. (Himanshu Vyas /HT Photo)

Thousands of farmers were detained across Rajasthan on Thursday when they tried to march to the assembly in Japiur demanding farm loan waiver and alleged failure of the BJP-led government in the state to honour an earlier agreement.

The farmers, agitating under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, were planning a demonstration outside the assembly.

NRK Reddy, additional director general of police (law and order), said that nearly 6,000 farmers were stopped at different places in Sikar alone.

“About 1000 were stopped at Tatiyawas in Jaipur’s Chomu and roughly as many in parts of Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Churu,” said Reddy, adding that farmers were stopped in Nagaur, Bharatpur and Udaipur as well.

Farmers stopped by police in Jaipur. (HT Photo)

State police along with personnel of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary and Special Task Force were deployed along the highways to stop the vehicles in the farmers were travelling to Jaipur.

At the Sikar road near Reengus, nearly 3,000 detained farmers staged a demonstration on the road they were stopped. Hundreds of vehicles lined up on one way of the highway.

In Jaipur city, about 100 farmers marching from Mazdoor Kisan Bhawan in Sodala were arrested in Shipra Path area. However, they were released in the evening.

Police also put up barricades and check points at various entry points of Jaipur district to ensure that farmers do not enter the city.

“While seeking permission for the mahapadao, they did not state the time, duration or the exact place of their sit in. Hence, we refused to give the permission,” said the ADG.

A police official assists in serving food to those at the protest site at Tatiawas toll booth, in Jaipur, on Thursday. (Himanshu Vyas /HT Photo)

Farmer leaders addressing the gathering at Reengus said that the government had made an agreement with them in September last year but instead of implementing its terms, the government is trying to crush their movement by detaining the farmers.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced a one-time crop loan waiver for small and marginal farmers in the budget. The farmers are miffed with the government as it had agreed to a Rs 50,000 crop loan waiver for all farmers following a similar agitation last year.

The government had also agreed to pay Rs 2000 monthly pension for all farmers above 60 years of age and take steps to deal with the stray cattle menace.

“The farmers are not asking for charity. It is because of the government’s policies that the farmers have come under debts,” said Harphool Singh, state vice president of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha (AIKS). The prices of items farmers buy are going up every year, while the farmers do not get adequate value for their produce, he added.

Farmers who were stopped from marching towards Jaipur, laugh at the jokes by speakers (not in the picture) as they block the highway at Reengus, in Sikar, on Thursday. (Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

At Tatiyawas, a leader of AIKS said that the government should implement the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission report.

“The minimum support price (MSP) should be fixed at 1.5 of the production cost. If it’s costing me Rs 1850 to produce a quintal of wheat, I should get Rs 2775 for the same,” said Bhagwan Sahay, Jaipur secretary of AIKS.

He added that after the complete loan waiver, the farmers should be given loans at 4% per annum.

Ram Chandra Kulhari, national secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha, farmer wing of CPI(ML), said that when the government can write off loans of big corporate houses what’s stopping it from writing off the loans of farmers.

“This government diverts attention of the people from real issued by sowing rift between people on the basis of religion. The government promised that it would lift the ban on sale of calves but it backtracked on that promise as well,” he added.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 22:12 IST