Farmers block national highway near Haryana’s Kurukshetra, demand early procurement of paddy

Some protesting farmers jumped over police barricades put up on the road during their protest

Farmers block national highway near Haryana's Kurukshetra, demand early procurement of paddy

Farmers gave 45 minutes for the district administration to decide on their demand of government purchase of paddy.

Demanding immediate paddy procurement, a group of farmers on Friday blocked the national highway near Shahabad in Haryana.

The procurement of Kharif crops, including paddy, in Haryana will start from October 1.

Some protesting farmers jumped over police barricades put up on the road during their protest.

The protest was led by Haryana BKU (Chaduni) chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni.

Addressing the farmers at the protest site, Chaduni said the government should immediately begin the procurement process.

The protest, during which farmers also parked their tractors on the road, caused inconvenience to commuters using the highway to travel from Delhi to Chandigarh and police had to later divert traffic.

“Until our demand is accepted, the blockade will not be removed from the highway,” Chaduni said.

According to an official statement here on Thursday, crops such as paddy, millet, maize, moong, sunflower, groundnut, til, arhar and urad will be procured during the marketing season 2022-23.

Adequate arrangements have been made for smooth procurement in mandis, it stated.

As the crucial road remained blocked, commuters in large numbers remained stranded for sometime and the police later diverted the traffic from Pipli to Chandigarh via Pehowa and Ladwa.

A heavy police force was deployed at Shahabad since morning in view of the farmer’s call for protest in support of their demands, including an increase in calculating paddy yield per acre from 22 quintals to 30 quintals for procurement.

Chaduni said the farmers would continue their protest peacefully. If the police resort to lathi-charge or use tear gas or water cannon, then the administration would be responsible for any fallout, he warned.

He said the government did not address their problems despite repeated requests.

More than 700 farmers assembled near the Udham Singh Memorial situated on Barara Road near GT Road around 11 am. Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Shahabad Kapil Sharma reached the spot and asked the farmers to call off their protest as the government had agreed to calculate the paddy yield per acre as 28 quintals instead of 22 quintals at present.

However, farmers gave 45 minutes for the district administration to decide on their demand of government purchase of paddy.

Shahabad SHO Davinder Singh told PTI that Deputy Commissioner Shantanu Sharma tried to convince them that the decision has to be taken by the government and they are trying for it, but farmers remained adamant to hold their protest.

The the district administration held meetings with the farmers and agreed to take a farmer’s delegation to Chandigarh for further talks with senior government officials.

(With PTI inputs)

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