Kurukshetra, Sep 28 (PTI) Farmers in Haryana's Kurukshetra held demonstrations at various 'mandis' on Monday, alleging delay in paddy procurement due to lack of coordination between the government departments and various agencies.
Farmers at a 'mandi' also locked up the the secretary and other staff of the Market Committee inside the office. They relented after a large police contingent reached the spot to control the situation.
Farmers alleged that there was lack of coordination between government departments and procurement agencies leading to the problems in smooth procurement.
However, a grain market official said that on the first day there were some issues pertaining to gate pass, but that was resolved and procurement had begun.
The procurement of paddy started from September 27 in Haryana.
The Centre had announced commencement of paddy procurement at the minimum support price (MSP) four days ahead of schedule in the wake of early arrival of the kharif crop in these two states.
Farmers in four districts of Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala and Kaithal had already started bringing their produce to the 'mandis'.
The government agencies were to procure the paddy from the 'mandis' of these four districts on September 27 and 28. From September 29, procurement will start in all 'mandis' of the state, officials said.
The schedule will be prepared as per the registration of farmers on 'Meri Fasal Mera Byora' portal, officials said.
Inder Raj 'Fauzi', a farmer of village Garhi Roran, said though the government announced to start procurement a few days early, in reality it was just a token purchase made by officials of the Food and Supplies Department on Sunday from three-four shops.
'They rejected remaining paddy on various excuses,' he claimed.
Hundreds of farmers sat on 'dharna' in 'mandis' and raised slogans against the government. The farmers dispersed after about three hour's dharna after threatening that if proper procurement is not started by Tuesday they would block the national highway-44. (GT road). Over 200 'Arhitiyas' (Commission agents) also took out a procession and joined the agitating farmers.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate Thanesar, Akhil Pilani said after a few glitches early on the paddy procurement was going on smoothly.
The agitating farmers later blocked Chandigarh-Hisar road at Pehowa to register their protest.
The farmers sat on dharna on the road in front of old mandi blocking traffic for more than two hours.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Pehowa, Gurmaij Singh said the traffic from Chandigarh-Hisar road was diverted.
He said the farmers lifted the dharna from Chandigarh-Hisar road after persuasion but later blocked the Pehowa-Kurukshetra road in front of the new grain market for over three hours. PTI CORR SUN VSD TDS TDS