Hundreds of farmers block highways in Punjab, Haryana, protest farm bills
The protesters also warned that if any Member of Parliament from Punjab supported the farm Bills in Parliament, he or she would not be allowed to enter villages
Angry over three agriculture-related Bills, hundreds of farmers blocked major highways in parts of Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday to demand that the proposed laws should not be pursued in Parliament.
The protesters also warned that if any Member of Parliament from Punjab supported the farm Bills in Parliament, he or she would not be allowed to enter villages.
"The MPs who support the farm bills in Parliament will not be allowed to enter the villages," said Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) General Secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal.
He said members of his outfit along with those from other farmers' organisations blocked roads, mainly national highways, at several places in Punjab. There were reports of farmers blocking highways in Haryana also.
In Punjab, a sit-in was started by protesters outside Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's residence in Patiala town and also outside former Chief Minister and Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal's residence at his native Badal village in Muktsar district.
Farmers from both the states also staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against the Bills. Later, the police detained them.
Heavy police presence was seen at various places in Haryana and Punjab to maintain law and order in view of the protest by farmers.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appealed to the farmers not to stop traffic or violate Section 144 of the CrPC in the state over the agriculture Bills, but made it clear that no cases would be registered against them as "they are fighting for their lives".
FIRs already registered against farmers protesting in violation of Section 144 would be withdrawn, said the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
He was talking to media persons outside the Governor's House after submitting a memorandum against the anti-farmer Bills on behalf of the Punjab Congress.
The ordinances would pave the way for ending the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime, which will spell doom for Punjab, and in fact the whole nation, he added.
Amarinder Singh urged the farmers to take their protests to Delhi, on the doorsteps of the central government, and assured them of Congress support in their fight.