New Delhi: Sikar and the neighbouring districts of Churu, Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan have come to a standstill due to the ongoing farmer agitation. Border areas of Haryana were also affected.
Peasants have blocked all the highways leading out of Sikar, making exceptions only for ambulances, marriage parties, and Army vehicles. Sikar town wore a deserted look, with people remaining indoors due to fear of violence.
Shops and business establishments remain closed. There were no buses plying and the bus stand wore a deserted look.
According to reports, farmers in Shekawati have blocked roads and highways at more than 400 locations. Around 3,000 vehicles and thousands of passengers remain stranded.
On the 11th day of the agitation on Monday, the farmers, who were encamped in the APMC Mandi, started marching towards the Collectorate at noon. The police had erected a barricade which halted the march and prevented two groups from clashing. Section 144 has been imposed around the Collectorate.
However, the farmers have promised to keep up with the agitation till their demands are met. Among the demands are waiver of farm loans and the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee recommendations to make farm produce remunerative.
Those leading the agitation are aware that while the Rajasthan government can waive loans, the latter demand can only be met by the Union government. They also want the restrictions on the sale of cattle to be lifted.
Government representatives and farm leaders were supposed to meet on Monday for talks, but it didn’t materialise. Another meeting has been fixed for 5 pm on Tuesday.