Chandigarh: Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher on Tuesday decried the heavy barricading along the borders of Punjab and Haryana in view of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, saying the state borders have been turned into “international borders”. He also accused the Manohar Lal Khattar government of harassing farmers in Haryana.
“It does not seem Punjab and Haryana are two states. It seems they have become the international border,” Pandher told reporters in Fatehgarh Sahib district ahead of the farmers’ march to Delhi.
The farmers are demanding a legal guarantee for MSP, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
Pandher said while the media has blamed the farmers for blocking roads, the government itself has blocked roads.
“Even today we are not saying that we will block roads. The government itself has blocked roads for the past two-three days,” Pandher, who is the general secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said.
Concrete walls have been erected at the Punjab and Haryana borders, he said. “We grow foodgrains and we feed the country and they have grown a crop of nails” for us,” Pandher said while referring to the elaborate arrangements made by the Haryana authorities to prevent farmers from moving towards the national capital.
He alleged that many farmers allowing allegiance to them have been detained in Madhya Pradesh. Lashing out at the Haryana government, Pandher said Haryana has been turned into “Kashmir valley.” He alleged that the state government has sent policemen to every village to harass farmers and deployed water cannons.
Referring to the meeting with the Union Ministers, Pandher said as the meeting remained inconclusive, they decided to head towards Delhi.
He said farmers rejected the ministers’ offers of formation of a committee over their demands, especially legal guarantee to the minimum support price.
Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda along with Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting with representatives of farmers on Monday. However, the meeting on the demands put forward by farmers remained inconclusive.
Farmers under the banner of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha plan to head to Delhi from the Ambala-Shambhu, Khanauri-Jind and the Dabwali borders.