Farm unions choke highways across Punjab‘ : The Tribune India

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Farm unions choke highways across Punjab‘

‘Chakka jam’ draws huge response | Leaders seek cancellation of FIRs, release of Delhi protesters

Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, February 6

On a nationwide call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha for ‘chakka jam’, various farmer unions along with farm labourer organisations on Saturday protested across the state, demanding the repeal of the three farm laws and a new law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP). While the normal traffic remained suspended on several roads and highways from 12 noon to 3 pm, no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

Members of various farmer unions along with residents protest on the Amritsar-Delhi national highway in Jalandhar on Saturday. Rajesh Sachar & Malkiat Singh

In Bathinda, farmers protested at eight places and blocked the Bathinda- Amritsar National Highway at Kanhiya Chowk and Bathinda-Chandigarh National Highway at Lehra Bega toll plaza. Besides, protests were held on the Bathinda-Badal road near Ghudda village, and Maur road at Rampura Phul.

A large number of people from non-farming community, including sanitation workers, also participated in the protest. Condemning the FIRs against protesters in Delhi, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Harjinder Singh Baggi demanded the release of ‘innocent’ farmers at the earliest. The farmers in large numbers were seen carrying the Tricolour along with kisan union flags. Commuters plying on the roads had a tough time as they had to take link roads through villages in the region.

Women in large numbers take part in the ‘chakka jam’ at Maur in Bathinda. Tribune photo

In Mansa district, protesters blocked the Sirsa-Barnala highway and resorted to sloganeering against the central government, demanding the restoration of Internet services and basic amenities at the protest sites on

Delhi borders. They also demanded cancellation of cases registered against farmers after Republic Day violence and their release.

Union leaders unanimously decided to boycott BJP candidates in the upcoming municipal council elections.

Farmers of the Punjab Kisan Union, various factions of the BKU and the Krantikari Kisan Union participated in the ‘chakka jam’. They blocked the Mansa-Patiala highway near Bhikhi and Mansa-Ratia highway at Budhladha.

In Amritsar, farmer unions received a huge response from public as roads were blocked at over a dozen places. The events also witnessed participation of students, shopkeepers and other sections of society. In Sirhind, farmers blocked the main Delhi-Amritsar GT Road, Sirhind-Patiala road near Kharodi village, Sirhind-Chandigarh road at Chuni, Badali Ala Singh and Bhaironpur. Similarly, the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road was blocked at Khamano. Farmer leaders said a family member from each home in every village would go to Delhi borders.

In Moga district, highways were blocked at 17 places. Protesting farmers demanded the implementation of Swaminathan report, guarantee on MSP and the rollback of the three controversial farm laws.

The Ludhiana-Ferozepur road was blocked by the BKU (Ekta) near a corporate giant’s silo at Dagru village, while the BKU (Dakaunda) blocked the Moga-Barnala road at Bilaspur village. Protests were also held on the Moga-Ferozepur road, Moga-Barnala road (Badhni Kalan village), Kotkapura-Moga road (Baghapurana) and the Moga-Ludhiana road at Ajitwal. Local villagers on the Moga-Ludhiana road protested in front of the Moga Deputy Commissioner’s residence.

Similar protests were organised in several towns of Sangrur and Barnala districts.

In Abohar, the BKU (Lakhowal) and (Qadian), and Kisan Ekta Manch blocked the Abohar-Dabwali-Delhi highway.

(With inputs from Bathinda, Mansa, Amritsar, Moga, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib & Abohar)

Women take lead

  • In Bathinda, a large number of people from the non-farming community participated in the protest. Women outnumbered their male counterparts at many places
  • Students under the banner of Students For Society staged a protest outside Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, seeking repeal of the three farm laws

We are not terrorists

"Even though we have been protesting peacefully since November 26, we are being repeatedly called terrorists, Naxals and whatnot. We all are farmers." — Harjinder Singh Baggi, BKU (Ekta Ugrahan)

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