Farmers in Punjab, Haryana block national, state highways

Farmers in Punjab, Haryana block national, state highways

Chandigarh, February 6, 2021

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday put up road blockades at many places on national and state highways as part of a nationwide "chakka jam" (road block)in protest against the three new Central farm laws and demanded these be withdrawn, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Emergency and essential services like ambulance and school bus will not be stopped, said the protesters. There was no report of violence from anywhere in both the states.

The nationwide call from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. was given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

Protesting farmers belonging to different outfits started assembling along the highways, mainly in front of the toll plazas in both states, well before the blockade come into effect.

Heavy police presence was seen at various places in Haryana and Punjab to maintain law and order in view of the protest by the farmers.

As a precaution, the police diverted traffic at many places.

Activists of several farmer associations were seen asking traders at several places in the Congress-ruled Punjab to keep their shops and business establishments closed to mark the pan-India protest.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a former ally of the BJP-led NDA government, and AAP had announced a statewide 'chakka jam' in Punjab to mark their protest.

Farmers protesting against the laws have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporate entities.

In Gurugram, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) staged a symbolic protest at Krishna Chowk on Palam Vihar Road in Gurugram in response to the three-hour "chakka jam" call.

Around 200 protesters and leaders across political lines sat in the middle of the road blocking the movement of traffic. They also raised slogans against the Centre's three new agricultural laws.

"As per the schedule we will protest here for three hours from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The government is adamant in favour of these three 'black laws'. SKM will protest against these legislations until they are repealed," said Chaudhary Santokh Singh, President SKM, Gurugram.

Meanwhile, traffic was disrupted as the protesters, specially women, formed a human chain towards Bheghera flyover to disrupt traffic. They also sat at Krishna Chowk to disrupt the traffic movement towards Palam Vihar and Delhi.

The protesters at the site distributed anti- government pamphlets in which they mentioned the adverse effects of the three laws.

A number of police personnel were deployed to handle the traffic movement and prevent any untoward incidents.

"We have diverted the traffic and keep asking commuters to avoid visiting Palam Vihar Road towards Krishna Chowk and Bheghera Flyover. A number of police checkpoints have been set up to check vehicles. We have asked the protesters to end there protest but they are not ready to listen to us. The protest till now has been peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported," said Rajeev Kumar, ACP (Udyog Vihar).

Gurugram roads including the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway, Kundli-Manesar-Palwal and state highways remained unaffected by the nationwide 'chakka jam'.

IANS

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