Farmers block KMP Expressway in Haryana

·3-min read

Chandigarh, Apr 10 (PTI) Intensifying their stir against the Centre's three contentious agriculture laws, farmers on Saturday blocked the Kundli–Manesar–Palwal expressway in Haryana.

They, however, said emergency vehicles such as ambulances will be allowed to ply.

The call for a 24-hour blockade was given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions spearheading the agitation.

The blockade started at 8 am and will last 24 hours till Sunday morning.

The 136-km Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway is also known as the Western Peripheral Expressway.

Farmers, including women, carried flags of their organisations and raised slogans against the government. They squatted on the expressway while slamming the central government for not repealing the farm laws.

Farmers in Sonipat and Jhajjar districts parked their tractor-trailers and other vehicles in the middle of the stretch.

In Nuh, some protesters were detained near the Rewasan toll plaza by the Haryana Police after they tried to block the road.

Several commuters faced inconvenience because of the KMP Expressway blockade and cited that they were unaware of the farmers' call for the protest.

Farmers, however, said they had given their call for blockade beforehand.

Because of the road blockade, long queues of vehicles, especially commercial ones, were seen.

Farmer leader Harinder Singh Lakhowal said the blockade will remain for 24 hours.

'If the Modi government fails to withdraw these laws, we will further intensify our agitation,' said a protester, adding that they were 'forced' to block the road as the government 'failed' to act on their demands.

Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said they will not return till the laws are repealed.

He asserted that their agitation will remain peaceful.

The BKU leader also slammed the Centre, accusing it of handing over the farming to the corporate sector and disbanding the age-old mandi system.

'The centre wants to run away from crop procurement,' he alleged.

Earlier on Friday, the Haryana Police had issued a traffic advisory, asking travellers to avoid the KMP Expressway for commuting.

Haryana Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk had said elaborate arrangements had been put in place to maintain peace and order and prevent any kind of violence.

Proper traffic diversions had been planned in Sonipat, Jhajjar, Panipat, Rohtak, Palwal, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Nuh, Virk said.

Passengers coming from the Chandigarh/Ambala side on the National Highway-44 may go towards Ghaziabad and Noida via Karnal to Shamli and from Panipat to Sanauli.

Vehicles going towards Gurgaon and Jaipur can take the National Highway-71A from Panipat and travel via Gohana, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Rewari.

Hundreds of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points of Delhi -- Singhu, Tikri (along Haryana), and Ghazipur--demanding a repeal of the three laws enacted by the Centre in September last year.

The Centre says the new farm laws will free farmers from middlemen, giving them more options to sell their crops.

The protesting farmers, however, say the laws will weaken the minimum support price (MSP) system and leave them at the mercy of big corporates. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK