After HC intervention, farmers’ 5-day protest to begin on Patiala-Sangrur highway today | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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After HC intervention, farmers’ 5-day protest to begin on Patiala-Sangrur highway today

The farmers are protesting against the failure of the Congress government to write off farm loans and provide a job for every household.

punjab Updated: Sep 22, 2017 09:14 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Punjab police personnel stand guard at a nakka in Sangrur on Thursday ahead of the five-day protest from Friday against the state government for not fulfilling promises mentioned in the election manifesto.
Punjab police personnel stand guard at a nakka in Sangrur on Thursday ahead of the five-day protest from Friday against the state government for not fulfilling promises mentioned in the election manifesto. (HT Photo)

On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court, district administration of Patiala designated a fresh site for the farmer organisations to start their five-day protest from Friday against the state government for not fulfilling promises mentioned in the election manifesto.

Earlier, the seven farmer organisations had given a call of protest in front of New Moti Bagh Palace, the family house of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, but now they will camp for five days at the Mehamudpur grain market on the Patiala-Sangrur road, 10km away from the city’s jurisdiction. Their prime issues are the failure of the Congress government to write off farm loans and provide a job for every household.

The seven organisations protesting are:
  • BKU factions Ekta Ugarahan,
  • Dakaunda,
  • Krantikari,
  • Kirti Kisan Union,
  • Krantikari Kisan Union,
  • Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Azad),
  • Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Pannu).

At least 4,000 police personnel have been deployed in the city to maintain law and order. “Roads leading to Patiala from Mehamudpur village have been completely barricaded and security arrangements put in place,” said Kesar Singh, superintendent of police. He added that additional police force, personnel of Punjab Armed Police, commando companies, and IRB battalions have been deployed across the city, mainly at entry points.

Moreover, the district magistrate has already imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the district, prohibiting assembly of more than four people in an area.

Earlier in the day, hearing a public interest litigation filed by local lawyer Mohit Kapoor, the high court directed the state government to designate a protest site on the outskirts of the city, so as to ensure law and order. In the PIL, it was alleged that a large of number farmers were expected to reach Patiala for their five-day long protest, which could result in lawlessness.

First, following the court’s directions, the government earmarked 7.5 acres of land for the protest in Shermajra village, 5 km from here, but the farmer organisations rejected the proposal and approached the deputy commissioner for a different spot.

They proposed three sites — Polo Grounds in the city, vacant land near Tripuri, and the grain market on the Sirhind-Patiala road — but DC Kumar Amit agreed only to Mehamudpur village.

The farm unions were satisfied. “Representatives of all seven organisations were consulted before going ahead with protest at the Mehamudpur village. Since it is located on the main Patiala-Sangrur road, we will project our genuine demands in a better way,” said Darshan Pal, a representative of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda).

Meanwhile, the DC and senior police officials reached Mehamudpur to make adequate security arrangements so as to restrict movement of farmers in that particular area.

The seven organisations protesting are BKU factions Ekta Ugarahan, Dakaunda and Krantikari, besides Kirti Kisan Union, Krantikari Kisan Union, Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Azad), and Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Pannu).