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

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Punjab - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

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

KESHAV SINGH/HT PHOTO

Mem­bers of Kisan Maz­door Sang­harsh Com­mit­tee protest­ing near YPS Chowk in Mo­hali on Tues­day.

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