This Article is From Sep 10, 2020

Police Lathicharge Haryana Farmers Protesting Against 3 Farm Ordinances

Farmers' unions have sought withdrawal of Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020, and an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Hundreds of farmers, many without masks, faced off with the police in Haryana's Kurukshetra.

Chandigarh:

Hundreds of farmers protesting against three farm-related ordinances of the central government were lathicharged by the police in Haryana's Kurukshetra a day after they ignored the state and district administration's warnings and marched towards a rally ground. Farmers from across the state, who were headed to the Pipli protest ground in trucks, were also stopped from reaching the venue.

Amid an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, the Haryana Home and Health ministers had asked the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), and other farmers' bodies, to cancel the rally or face charges under the Epidemic Act and the Disaster Management Act.

The district administration had even imposed Section 144 to ensure that no such gathering takes place in view of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's attendance at the Rafael jets' induction ceremony in Ambala, which is just 50km away.

The farmers' union had said it will go ahead with its plans with "every precaution in view of the pandemic".

Today, however, hundreds of farmers, many without masks, faced off with the police for trying to stop them from proceeding towards the protest site in Kurukshetra's Pipli.

They chanted slogans against the Centre to withdraw Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 and an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

The farmers' bodies fear that farmers may not get a minimum support price for crops after the introduction of new rules. They insist that the government must introduce a law to assure them of a minimum support price.

Farmers also fear that an amendment in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, will also lead to black marketing.

The protest - which comes in the background of a similar protest in Haryana and Punjab earlier - was organised even as Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal said the state government was committed towards providing a minimum support price for all crops.

"The voice of farmers has to be raised, we want withdrawal of these anti-farmer ordinances, which will destroy the peasants and leave them at the mercy of market forces," BKU state unit chief Gurnam Singh had said on Wednesday.

The leader of Opposition in BJP-led Haryana government, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has also shown his support for the agitation.