Protesting farmers face water cannons in Mohali
Farmers were marching to gherao Raj Bhawan to oppose Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement for trade with 16 countries
MOHALI : At least 12 members of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee sustained minor injuries after Chandigarh police used water cannons on farmers protesting in Mohali. The farmers, who had arrived from various districts of Punjab, were marching to gherao Raj Bhavan, on Tuesday, to oppose the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement under which the government is planning to initiate tax-free agri-trade with 16 countries.
The members started their protest from Gurudwara Amb Sahib in phase-8, Mohali and while they were crossing the UT border near the YPS roundabout, they were stopped by the Chandigarh police. The cops used six vehicles equipped with water cannons to douse the protestors. At least 12 protesters were injured and had to be rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32, however, their injuries weren’t described as serious. A lady constable was also reportedly injured in this clash which lasted over two hours.
Later, Rakesh Bhandari, deputy secretary to Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore, reached the spot and assured the farmers a meeting with the governor on June 4. General secretary, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sawarn Singh Pandher, said the Centre is playing into the hands of private players, and due to pressure from WTO, the Modi government is going to privatise farm markets. “The government is going to initiate tax-free trade of agriculture produce with 16 countries under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. With the import of farm products, the economy of agrarian states, like Punjab, will be ruined. We oppose this Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement and India should keep away from this,” added Pandher. Other demands include full loan waiver, implementation of Swaminathan Commission report, stopping the auction of land and arrest of farmers, and payment for sugarcane crop with 15 % interest.
› With the import of farm products, the economy of agrarian states, like Punjab, will be ruined. SAWARN SINGH PANDHE, general secretary, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee
Members of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee protesting near YPS Chowk in Mohali on Tuesday.