Phagwara, August 12
Farmers protesting over the non-payment of sugarcane dues for the past four days here blocked the second side of the Jalandhar-Ludhiana stretch of the national highway on Friday.
Roads leading to Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Nakodar were also blocked by parking tractors, leading to traffic snarls.
Police personnel in large numbers were deployed and water cannons stationed near the protest site.
Earlier, they had blocked the Jalandhar-Ludhiana carriageway of the national highway while protesting over the alleged delay in the payment of their dues amounting to Rs 72 crore by a sugar mill here.
The farmers had started their indefinite protest near the sugar mill on Monday under the banner of the Bharti Kisan Union (Doaba).
Kapurthala SSP Navneet Singh Bains is monitoring the situation.
“Since the Punjab government has taken our protest lightly, we blocked the other side of the national highway at 10 am today,” said BKU (Doaba) president Manjit Singh Rai.
However, ambulances, school buses and other emergency vehicles were allowed to pass, said farmer body's general secretary Satnam Singh Sahni.
They claimed that representatives of various farmers’ bodies under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha are holding a meeting to chalk out the next course of action.
Banners of the SKM were on display at the protest site on Friday.
Rai and Sahni said they will not budge till Rs 72 crore was transferred into the accounts of farmers.
“We will turn our agitation into a statewide stir if our demand is not immediately met by the government," they warned.
Farmers, who had been protesting for the payment of sugarcane arrears, had on Thursday lifted the road blockade from a section of the national highway here due to Raksha Bandhan.
The protesters had warned that they will intensify their stir and block both sides of the Ludhiana-Jalandhar section from Friday if their demand is not met.
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