Chandigarh, Oct 1 (PTI) Farmers in Punjab on Thursday intensified their agitation against the new farm laws as they squatted on rail tracks at many places for an indefinite period and staged sit-ins outside the residences of BJP leaders.
A total of 31 farmers' bodies have joined hands to intensify the agitation. They had announced to block rail tracks from October 1 for an indefinite period. Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal said that farmers blocked rail tracks at 30 places in the state to press the Centre to revoke new farm laws. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said they blocked rail tracks at Dhablan (Patiala), Sunam (Sangrur), Budhlada (Mansa) and Gidderbaha (Muktsar). Some other farmers' unions have also blocked rail tracks in Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Rupnagar, Phillaur, Moga and other places. However, farmers under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have been squatting at rail tracks in Amritsar and Ferozepur since September 24. Krantikari Kisan Union president Darshan Pal said farmers staged sit-ins in front of the residences of several BJP leaders including former Punjab BJP chief Shwait Malik in Amritsar. They staged 'dharnas' outside the houses of BJP MLA from Abohar Arun Narang, BJP leaders Sunita Garg at Kotkapura, Bikramjit Singh Cheema at Payal in Ludhiana and Satwant Singh Punia at Sangrur, said Pal. Kokrikalan said farmers also demonstrated near toll plazas in Sangrur, Barnala, Moga and Gurdaspur, besides holding 'dharnas' outside fuel pumps and shopping malls belonging to some corporate houses. Farmers have already given a call to boycott some corporate houses and their products in the state. According to them, the Centre wanted to 'benefit' a few corporate houses with these 'black laws'. Kokrikalan said besides farmers, women and youth also took part in the protests. Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher slammed political parties for holding their own protests, saying they were doing so keeping in mind the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls. Farmers said they would continue their agitation till their demand for revocation of farm laws was not accepted.
Farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm reforms would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporates. President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the three contentious bills -- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. PTI CHS VSD RHL