Protesting farmers clash with police near Nada Sahib Gurdwara, in Panchkula, on Thursday. (Express Photo)
“The government wants to suppress our voices”, said protesting farmers, who were picked up merely 1 kilometer from where they started their march on Thursday.
The protestors had gathered to protest against the Haryana government, alleging a ‘crop procurement scam’ and seeking probe by senior officials into the matter.
The farmers who had planned to set out from Nada Sahib gurdwara in Panchkula to the Vidhaan Sabha session, were attacked by the Panchkula police, as soon as they started marching. Water cannons were shot at them and according to a police inspector, at least 100 protestors were put into several buses and sent to three different police stations including Sector 20, Sector 14 and Chandimandir.
Rakesh Kumar Bains, one of the protestors, who hails from Yamunanagar said, “The number of farmer suicides in the country and state has been increasing everyday. According to the 2018 NCRB report, 10349 farmers have committed suicide in the country. There are many reasons behind this, the main being that farmers are not getting the right price for their crops in mandis. Even the money given by the government is robbed in a planned manner.”
Talking about the alleged scam, he said, “The crop procurement scam in Haryana is going on in the current season 2019-20. In an RTI filed by us, it was revealed that the Haryana government has shown a crop growth of 70 quintals per acre which is not possible at any cost. The maximum growth from an acre of land can only go upto 30 quintals. A purchase of a large amount of crop from the state mandis has been shown in the papers, larger than the total yield of Haryana. Another big scam that has happened as a direct result of this is that the MSP, commission of several parties, labor expenses, diesel and logistic expenses etc of all crop has been taken from the government, which amounts to hundreds of crores of rupees.”
The protestors further alleged involvement of senior politicians in the scam and have asked for a CBI inquiry in the matter.
When inspectors were questioned about supressing the march, they said, “We had received the orders from seniors.”