India  

Farmers block NH 44 for protesting, have two demands

Farmers protest on NH 44. Climbing protesters. Photo Credit: Twitter
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Haryana: Farmers from Haryana, as well as Punjab have come down on the roads for protest. They have now blocked the national highway 44 which is between Delhi and Chandigarh. This protest is being held by the farmers over sunflower MSP. The farmers have expressed their disappointment over the state’s offer of rupees 29.3 crore which has been distributed among around 8528 farmers. This is like interim relief under a scheme. The scheme that pays an amount of ₹1,000 per quintal for items sold below MSP. The mahapanchayat is also included in the protest.

Forced to sell to private buyers

The farmers from different parts of Uttar Pradesh have also participated in the protest. They all gathered at a grain market and complained that they are being made to unwillingly sell to private buyers. Moreover, the price of per quintal that they are being forced to sell is at rupees 4,000 whereas the MSP is 6,400. Farmers are suffering loss due to this reason. This has made hundreds of farmers gather near National Highway near Kurukshetra in Haryana. They are protesting with flags in their hands and holding placards.

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Two demands of the farmers

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait has said that they are not blocking the highway. He said that it is not right to do so. Hence, it will not be blocked. On the other hand many photos surfaced on the Internet show that the farmers are gathering at major intersections resulting in traffic. However, the farmer leader has kept in front two demands. First one being release of farmers who have been detained. Second one being start purchasing sunflower seeds at MSP.

This is the second protest that has happened in last 10 days. The protest were held last week as well. Where the farmers had blocked the same Delhi Chandigarh highway. The protest had however turned violent after police had to use water cannons on the protesters. Police also started to lathicharge the protesters as they were not following protocols and blocking the way of many people. So to control the situation police had to take these steps. Later the situation was peaceful and some protesters were detained.

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