Talks fail, sug­ar­cane farm­ers to con­tinue protest in Kar­nal

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Punjab & Haryana - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KAR­NAL: The talks be­tween protest­ing sug­ar­cane farm­ers and the Haryana gov­ern­ment on Satur­day failed to reach any con­clu­sion as the farm­ers are adamant on get­ting a writ­ten as­sur­ance from the gov­ern­ment on ac­cep­tance of their de­mands.

Led by Bhar­tiya Kisan Union (BKU) pres­i­dent Rat­tan Mann, a group of farm­ers met a gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion, com­pris­ing Gha­raunda MLA Harvin­der Kalyan, Kar­nal deputy com­mis­sioner Aditya Dahiya and other of­fi­cers.

The meet­ing was held to re­solve the is­sues of pend­ing sug­ar­cane pay­ments and de­lay in con­struc­tion work of new co­op­er­a­tive sugar mill in Kar­nal.

The MLA as­sured the protest­ing farm­ers that their de­mands will be ac­cepted by Au­gust 29, but the farm­ers said they will not end their protest un­til a writ­ten as­sur­ance is given to them in this re­gard.

The farm­ers also al­leged that the MLA and other of­fi­cers present in the meet­ing did not be­have prop­erly with them.

The farm­ers threat­ened to in­ten­sify their protest and said they will start a hunger strike from Au­gust 16.

Talk­ing to Hin­dus­tan Times, farmer leader Rat­tan Mann said the MLA did not give any writ­ten as­sur­ance on their de­mands.

“We will try to meet the chief min­is­ter dur­ing his visit to Kar­nal on Au­gust 13 and will tell him that the lo­cal MLA and the ad­min­is­tra­tion were try­ing to mis­lead the farm­ers over the is­sue,” the Mann said.

He said farm­ers want a writ­ten as­sur­ance on their de­mands, in­clud­ing clear­ance of all pend­ing pay­ments of sug­ar­cane grow­ers by the end of this month, float­ing of ten­der for con­struc­tion of new sug­armill be­fore Au­gust 29 and a meet­ing of farm­ers with the chief min­is­ter.

Con­tin­u­ing their protest on Satur­day, 11 farm­ers courted ar­rest.

MLA Kalyan said the farm­ers were de­mand­ing a writ­ten as­sur­ance, which can­not be given.

Asked why the gov­ern­ment could not take ac­tion against the pri­vate sugar mills, which were not clear­ing the pend­ing pay­ments of the farm­ers, he said, “A meet­ing will be con­vened soon to re­solve the is­sue.”

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