Farmers block national highways for 2 hrs, commuters bear brunt : The Tribune India

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Farmers block national highways for 2 hrs, commuters bear brunt

Farmers block national highways for 2 hrs, commuters bear brunt

Farmers block the Ladhowal toll plaza in protest on Thursday. tribune photo: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN



Tribune News Service

Manav Mander

Ludhiana, February 22

Protesting farmers today blocked national highways causing much inconvenience to the public. Ladhowal toll plaza located alongside the Sutlej between Phillaur and Ludhiana, Kubbe toll plaza on the Ludhiana-Doraha road, Ghulal toll plaza on Chandigarh Road in Samrala and Gurhe (Chaukimann) toll plaza on the Ludhiana-Jagraon highway were blocked for two hours.

Blocked roads to protest subhkaran’s death

We have blocked highways to protest Subhkaran Singh’s death. The government has forced us to take the step after the yesterday’s incident. We are not harming anybody but nobody understands the harm and inconvenience caused to us.— Harmeet Singh Kadian, President of the BKU (Kadian)

People who were commuting through public transport were seen walking towards their destinations. Commuters had to face inconvenience as their vehicles got stuck in traffic jams for hours as no vehicle was allowed to pass through the toll barriers, except ambulances, schoolbuses and vehicles going to the airport.

Farmers raised slogans against the Union Government for not allowing them to reach the Delhi border for their agitation. At the Ladhowal toll plaza, farmers observed a two-minute silence and prayers were offered to the departed soul of Subhkaran Singh, a farmer from Bathinda, who lost his life on Wednesday following a clash between security personnel and protesting farmers at Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Saudagar Singh, general secretary of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), said the government was not ready to accept genuine demands of the farmers.

Harmeet Singh Kadian, president of the BKU (Kadian), said yesterday’s incident was unfortunate where a farmer lost his life.

“We have blocked the highways to protest Subhkaran’s death. The government has forced us to take this step after the yesterday’s incident. We are not harming anybody but nobody understands the harm and inconvenience caused to us,” said the BKU (Kadian) leader.

Kadian said he wants to question the government on why farmers were being stopped from entering Delhi to protest in a peaceful manner.

“The Supreme Court says FIR will be registered against those who block the GT Road. Here, the government is blocking the road and not allowing us to enter Delhi. Who will take action against it,” he questioned.

HS Lakhowal, president of the BKU (Lakhowal), said they want the government to register an FIR against the government.

Meanwhile, commuters faced the heat and many were seen walking on foot and marching towards their destinations.

Surjit Singh, along with his wife, was coming to Ludhiana from Hoshiarpur and the bus dropped them near Phillaur. “We walked nearly 10 km and after crossing the toll plaza, we will take an auto-rickshaw to reach Ludhiana,” he said.

Lalita, who was having difficulty in walking, said she was going to Phillaur from Ludhiana but the bus dropped her before the barrier. “I will not be able to walk for long with my walking stick. Hence, I am going back to Ludhiana now,” she said.

Davinder Singh was stuck on Chandigarh road for hours and left with no other option but to wait for the farmers to lift their blockade. “The farmers are fighting for their rights and it is sad that the government is not allowing them to enter Delhi. They are citizens of the country and have every right to put forward their demands. I missed my meeting today but it seems nothing in front of their agitation and demands,” he said.

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