Protest ends, but farmers refuse to vacate Ladhowal toll plaza : The Tribune India

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Protest ends, but farmers refuse to vacate Ladhowal toll plaza

Protest ends, but farmers refuse to vacate Ladhowal toll plaza

Farmers sit on a dharna at the Ladhowal toll plaza in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman



Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 15

Even though the prolonged protest of farmers under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has ended after scrapping of the new farm laws by the Modi government and the farmers are returning to their homes from Delhi borders, activists of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU)-Kadian today refused to vacate the toll plaza following a row with the toll company over revision of rates.

Also read: In Punjab, farmers stay put at toll plazas, want fee hike rolled back

For the time being, farmers would continue to squat at the toll gates, said BKU president Harmeet Singh Kadian.

He said a bhog of ‘path’ of Sukhmani Sahib was performed at toll plaza today to celebrate farmers’ big victory and also felicitate the farmers returning from protest sites around Delhi and it was decided that protesting farmers would vacate the toll plaza after a victory procession. “However, it came as a shock to us that the toll concessionaires have decided to jack up the rates both for single and return journey to Rs 135 and Rs 200, which earlier stood at Rs 125 and Rs 185,” said the BKU chief.

While the management of the toll plaza denied that rates have been increased saying there is no such proposal as yet, Kadian said the management has been given a two-day time to come clear on the toll rates and put back signboards of rates prevailing prior to the farmers’ agitation. Only then the protest at the toll plaza would be ended, he added.

Meanwhile, the toll management is gearing up to resume toll collection, which was suspended since the commencement of farmers’ protest last year. Toll collection cabins are being refurbished and barriers are being reinstalled.


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