Protests being held at Atohan Chowk near Palwal in Haryana as part of countrywide 'Chakka Jaam' call given by farmers.
Protests being held at Atohan Chowk near Palwal in Haryana as part of countrywide 'Chakka Jaam' call given by farmers.

Farmers protesting against the Centre's new agri laws and other issues blocked roads at several places in various states on Saturday on the call given by the farmers' unions for a nationwide 'chakka jam'.

Farmer unions had on Monday announced a countrywide 'chakka jam' from 12 noon to 3 pm on February 6 when they would block national and state highways in protest against the Internet ban in areas near their agitation sites, harassment allegedly meted out to them by authorities, and other issues.

The police have stepped up security and made all arrangements for traffic diversion, said officials, adding adequate police personnel were deployed in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Security was stepped up in other states as well.

Protesting farmers owing allegiance to different farmers' bodies blocked state and national highways at several places in Punjab and Haryana, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said they are holding road blockades at 33 places in 15 districts including Sangrur, Barnala and Bathinda in Punjab.

In the morning, farmers started assembling at their earmarked protest sites for 'chakka jam' in both the states.

"Elders and youth have gathered here to participate in chakka jam. It will be peaceful," said a protester at the Punjab-Haryana border in Shambhu near Ambala.

"We want that the government should repeal these three laws as they are not in the interest of the farming community," said another protester.

Protesting farmers said emergency vehicles including ambulances and school buses will be allowed during the 'chakka jam'.

Protesters blocked national highway near Rajasthan-Haryana border at Shahjahanpur as part of 'Chakka Jaam' call given by farmer unions.

Pictures from Bengaluru showed farmers taking to the streets to protest against the new farm laws.

Farmer organisations in Jammu also staged protest on Jammu-Pathankot highway as part of the nationwide 'chakka jaam'.

"We appeal to the govt to repeal these laws. We support the farmers protesting on the borders of Delhi," a protester said.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting since late November at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.

(With PTI inputs)

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Free Press Journal