Farmers burnt copies of the Centre’s three farm laws near the residences of BJP leaders and at other places in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday, observing the day of the promulgation of the farm ordinances last year as ”Sampoorna Kranti Diwas”.
Farmers carrying black flags raised slogans against the BJP-led central government for not scrapping the legislation which, they said, will “destroy” the farming community. Security personnel were deployed and barricades put up near the protest sites to maintain law and order.
The call for observing ”Sampoorna Kranti Diwas” was given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the protesting farmer unions, spearheading the agitation against the farm laws. Protests were held at many places, including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Mohali, Abohar, Hoshiarpur, Barnala, Nawanshahr, Patiala, Chandigarh, Sirsa, Jind, Karnal, Panipat and Ambala.
In Phagwara, farmers burnt copies of the farm laws near the residence of Union Minister Som Parkash at Urban Estate. The protesters assembled near the GT Road and marched towards his residence. Police put up barricades on the road leading to Parkash”s house to prevent protesters from reaching there, officials said.
The Union Minister was not at home at the time of the protest. The agitating farmers also held a protest near Parkash’s residence in Mohali district. Police were deployed and barricades erected outside the minister’s house to prevent any untoward incident.
In Chandigarh, a protest was held against the Centre for not repealing the farm laws, the main demand of the agitating farmers. In Hoshiarpur, farmers took out a protest march from the local Gurdwara Singh Sabha to the local BJP office at Shastri Market and then burnt the copies of the legislation.
In Karnal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar appealed to farmers not to disturb law and order during their protest. In Ambala, farmers held a demonstration near the residence of Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij. A group of farmers affiliated to Bharatiya Kisan Union reached National Highway 1 near Ambala Cantonment, around 500 yards away from the residence of the Home Minister. The entry point of Vij residence at Shastri Colony was barricaded and police personnel were also deployed there.
Similarly, farmers also held protests near the residence of Aseem Goyal, BJP MLA from Ambala City. Goyal was not present at home when the farmers burnt the copies of the laws. In Panchkula, police resorted to mild cane charge after a group of farmers tried to force their way through barricades to head towards the home of Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta.
After being promulgated as ordinances on this day last year, the farm legislations were passed by Parliament in September. The President gave his assent to the bills later that month.
Scores of farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders since November last year demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
The government, however, has been maintaining that the laws are pro-farmer.
Several rounds of talks between the agitating farmers and the government have failed to break the deadlock over these contentious laws. The government last held talks with farmer leaders on January 22. The talks between the two sides came to a halt after a January 26 tractor parade by farmers in Delhi turned violent. (PTI)