Farmers in Punjab, Haryana 'gherao' FCI offices

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Chandigarh, Apr 5 (PTI) Farmers in Punjab and Haryana on Monday held protests outside Food Corporation of India (FCI) offices and raised various demands, including a legal guarantee for the minimum support price.

The protesters expressed anguish over the central government's decision to seek farmers' land records for online payments to their accounts and demanded its immediate rollback.

Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said his organisation 'gheraoed' 34 FCI offices in 15 districts of Punjab.

Protests were also held outside the central procurement agency at Chandigarh, Amritsar, Sangrur and Haryana's Kurukshetra and Sonipat.

The protesters asked the Centre to give a legal guarantee on the MSP for their produce.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher asked the Centre to postpone its decision of direct payment to farmers for the time being, saying if it is implemented, then those who cultivate land under tenancy will face problems in getting payment.

The farmers also demanded that the procurement process be completed in a minimum time.

The government should ensure that farmers do not face any problem due to lack of wheat bags and other facilities, the protesters said.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, with their main demand being complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price on their crops.

So far, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and government, but the deadlock has continued as both sides have stuck to their stand.

In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions. PTI CHS VSD SNE