Farmers today gathered at various places in Haryana and blocked national highways as part of their nation-wide stir against the death of five cultivators in police firing in Madhya Pradesh and failure of the Centre to provide relief to the farming community.
Led by Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Gurnam Singh, farmers gathered near Mohra in Ambala in Haryana and blocked the highway there by parking their tractors. The protesting farmers also blocked Rohtak-Panipat highway near Ghilor village in the state.
Apart from Ambala, farmers also held protests at Rohtak, Sonepat, Hisar, Sirsa, Jind, Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri.
In Fatehabad, BKU, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, members of Communist Party of India (M) and AAP assembled on the highway and blocked Fatehabad-Delhi road for some time, forcing the authorities to divert the traffic at some places.
Singh said that the farmers blocked vehicular traffic at various places for three hours in the afternoon during their peaceful protest. They allowed emergency vehicles to pass.
A group of 62 farmers' unions had announced that it's members will block traffic for three hours on all national highways across the country today.
Singh said the decision to block traffic was taken to protest the killing of five farmers in police firing in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and alleged failure of the government to provide relief to the farming community. The farmers are also demanding waiver of loans and implementation of Swaminathan Committee report on payment of the minimum support price (MSP).
He also said that on International Yoga Day, on June 21, "the farmers will stage protests to attract attention of the entire world towards their plight."
The opposition parties, including Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), also lent their support to the agitating farmers.
INLD workers burnt the effigy of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan near the mini secretariat in Panipat, under the elevated flyover which is part of national highway, to protest the firing on farmers in Mandsaur in which five cultivators were killed.
Led by former state agriculture minister Jaswinder Sandhu, INLD workers took out a protest march in Karnal demanding loan waiver for the farmers.
In view of the farmers' protest, the Haryana police had taken necessary steps to deal with the situation.
Four companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had been deployed in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sonepat and Jind.
Led by former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Congress organised a 'Kisan Panchayat' in Kurukshetra today.
Hooda said it was unfortunate that the BJP had failed to fulfill its poll promise of implementing the Swaminathan Commission report.
He said today question is not of farmers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu or Haryana alone, but peasants across the country were at the crossroads due to "anti-farmer" policies of the central government.