Ambala/Kurukshetra, Sep 30 (PTI) Farmers protested against the alleged delay in procurement of paddy by putting up road blockades at various places in Haryana on Wednesday.
In Ambala district, the farmers had put up road blockades on Ambala-Hisar and Ambala-Jagadhri highways, leading to disruption of traffic movement. Similar road blockades were held in Kurukshetra and some of the adjoining districts.
Hundreds of farmers had put their tractors and trolleys in the middle of the highways and sat on a dharna there.
They blocked the Ambala-Hisar Highway near the city while the Ambala-Jagadhri Highway was blocked near Saha village.
Police said they had diverted the traffic on the highways through alternate routes.
Police personnel were also deployed on highways and in various grain markets, they said.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Sukhwinder Singh Jalbera and Ramesh Rana said the farmers started bringing their paddy in various grain markets of Ambala district a few days ago.
They claimed that their produce is not being purchased and it has been lying in the open area of the grain market.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said that the farmers will not face any problem in the procurement process.
He has asked the procurement agencies to immediately lift the procured paddy.
However, senior Congress leader and MLA Kiran Choudhary said the Haryana government's claims on smooth paddy procurement have fallen flat.
'They had made these claims earlier this year during wheat procurement too, but even at that time farmers faced a lot of problems. Now, farmers in districts, including Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Ambala, Karnal are protesting against delay in procurement of their paddy crop,” she said.
'The government had said it will procure every single grain of farmers, but they have put a cap of 33 quintal per acre... already farmers are protesting against the anti-farmers' agri laws, now they are being put to inconvenience by apathetic attitude of the BJP-JJP government,' she said.
In Kurukshetra district, farmers held protests at various mandis, alleging delay in paddy procurement and a lack of coordination between the government departments and various agencies.
The state government had started procurement in Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar from Sunday, while in other districts it began on Tuesday.
Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh addressed the agitating farmers at Shahbad-Markanda and then at Kurukshetra before going to Pehowa, where farmers have blocked the Chandigarh-Hisar road since Tuesday.
He claimed that in the present procurement process, many 'impractical conditions' for farmers had been put ranging from fixing moisture limit for the crop to issuing of gate passes in the mandis which had left peasants harassed.
'Many farmers have been forced to sell their produce outside the 'mandi' to private traders at throwaway prices,' he said.
Gurnam Singh said farmers were holding 'dharnas' in front of most mandis in the state on Wednesday.
The Haryana BKU chief said a meeting of all farmer's organisations has been called at Kurukshetra on October 8, to chalk out future course of action if the government failed to procure paddy.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Pehowa in Kurukshetra, Gurmaij Singh said the farmers are sitting on the road in Kurukshetra district since two days and the traffic has been diverted.
He said police personnel have been deployed at the purchasing centre as well at the 'dharna' site. PTI Cor SUN VSD SNE SNE