Tribune News Service

Moga, February 7

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta) and its allied farm unions blocked traffic on national and state highways in Punjab on Wednesday to press their demand for a complete debt waiver. The general secretary of the BKU (Ekta), Sukhdev Singh Kokri, rued that the state government had announced a crop loan waiver up to only Rs 2 lakh, which was not sufficient. “Farmers are committing suicide but the state government does not seem to be serious enough to address to the core issue, i.e. declining farm income," he said.

Kokri said the farmers had blocked traffic for two hours at 36 locations in Sangrur, Barnala, Bathinda, Moga, Ludhiana, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Mansa, Tarn Taran, Amritsar and other districts. Besides BKU (Ekta), BKU (Dakonda), Kirti Sangharsh Committee, BKU (Krantikari), Kirti Kisan Union etc also took part in these protests.

The other demands are the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report on the fixing of MSP of crops, besides a Rs 10-lakh grant and a job to each family of suicide victims. Kokri said farmers would begin a protest march towards the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh from the first day of the coming Budget Session.

Bathinda: During the protest of farmer organisations on the Bathinda-Barnala highway today, BKU Ekta-Ugrahan district president Shangara Singh Mann said the Congress should not back out on the promises it had made to people. They also hit out at the state government for shutting down thermal plants, anganwari centres and Suvidha Kendras, besides merging government schools. 

Farm leaders detained

Abohar: The attempt to block traffic by the BKU was foiled by the police who sealed the Abohar-Hanumangarh road on Wednesday. BKU (Ugrahan) district chief Sukhmander Singh and others were taken into custody and taken to the Wahabwala police station. - OC

Gidderbaha cops book 75 

Muktsar: The police booked 15 farmers by name and nearly 60 others for blocking the Malout-Bathinda highway in Gidderbaha just outside the subdivisional adminstrative complex. The administration had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC. - TNS (Source: