The government’s decision to skip purchasing sunflower seeds at the minimum support price (MSP) has infuriated farmers in Haryana. They allegedly shut down National Highway 44 for six hours near Shahabad in the Kurukshetra district on Tuesday, June 6, to protest the situation.
The police responded in accordance with decisions from the high courts of Punjab and Haryana, which told the administration to remove the barrier.
The government was urged by the farmers to begin purchasing at an MSP of Rs. 6,400 a quintal; nevertheless, the deadline was on Monday.
Police have issued numerous warnings to the farmers since they surrounded the highway around 1 o’clock, but the farmers, under the leadership of BKU (Charuni) president Gurnam Singh Charuni, have remained steadfast in their demand that the government agencies begin buying sunflower seeds at the MSP of $6,400 per quintal.
Social media sites saw the posting of pictures and videos that featured a lot of police presence and barricades. In the morning, the farmers could be seen at the Shahbad grain market. According to local accounts, they chose to block the roadway after their negotiations with government officials failed.
Background of Haryana Farmer’s Protest
Due to unusually heavy rains that fell throughout the state in March and April of this year, the crops were devastated.
Manohar Lal Khattar, the chief minister of Haryana, transferred Rs 181 crore into the bank accounts of 67,758 farmers on May 31 to make up for the lost crops.
Speaking on behalf of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh faction, Tejveer Singh claimed that by breaking its promise to buy produce at MSP, the state government cheated the farmers. The government’s anti-farmer policies prompted us to express our displeasure, he said, and now they are repressing our right to protest.
On Twitter, Khattar stated, “Today, following my commitment made to my farmer brothers, I have sent reimbursement in the amount of Rs. 181 crores directly to their bank accounts with just one click.” This is in response to crop loss.
We declared compensation for crop loss caused by unseasonal rains in May in March–April 2023, and today the compensation sum has been distributed to 67,758 farmers in the state, he continued.
Police say everything is under control
According to Bhoria, eight leaders, including Gurnam Singh Charuni, president of the BKU (Charuni), who had been arrested during the police action, remained in captivity.
The SP stated that farmers were repeatedly asked to clear the roadblock, but they refused, so the police were forced to intervene. He said that the situation was under control and that traffic flow had been restored.
According to Ambala SP Jashandeep Singh Randhawa, a case has been filed against the demonstrators; further information will be released at a later time. “We don’t disagree with their peaceful demonstration in any way. To uphold law and order, forces have been deployed, the speaker continued.
Meanwhile, BKU (Charuni) head Sanju Gundiana criticised the police response, claiming that the farmers were mounting a peaceful protest but were confronted with battens. The demand has been made to deepen the protests by blocking state roadways, he continued. However, he asserted that the administration cannot put an end to this protest by deploying a police force.
Protesters have also stopped roads in some of the Kurukshetra, Karnal, and Kaithal districts while calling for the release of the imprisoned farmer leaders, including Charuni.
Meanwhile, the leader of the farmers, Rakesh Tikait, announced that he would be in Kurukshetra on Wednesday and asked farmers to assemble there in large numbers.
HAFED moves forward with the acquisition
The chairman of Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED), Kailash Bhagat, visited several grain markets in the Kurukshetra district on Tuesday to supervise the purchase of sunflower seeds at a cost of 4,800 rupees per quintal. Additionally, he guaranteed that the money for the purchased sunflower seeds would be transferred to the farmers’ bank accounts.