Chandigarh: Haryana farmers, protesting on Tuesday at the National Highway 44 near Kurukshetra’s Shahbad over the government not buying their sunflower seeds on the minimum support price (MSP), were baton-charged by police to clear the area.
The police also used water cannon to disperse the crowd.
IG Ambala Range, Sibash Kabiraj, reached Shahbad to take stock of the situation.
Later, the traffic was restored on the highway after clearing the blockades.
Hundreds of farmers on Tuesday blocked the national highway in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district demanding the state government to withdraw its decision not to procure sunflower seeds on minimum support price (MSP) and induct the crop under the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana.
Some protesting farmers even tried to remove police barricades on the road.
The protest was led by Haryana BKU-Chaduni chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni.
Addressing the farmers at the protest site, Chaduni said the government should immediately begin the procurement process at the MSP of Rs 6,400 per quintal.
“At our meetings with government representatives, we had made it clear to them that the growers will not accept anything less than the MSP. We were assured that the sunflower crop will not be procured under the government’s Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana,” he told the media at the protest site.
The protest caused inconvenience to commuters using the highway and police had to divert traffic.
Agitated over the government’s decision by inducting the crop under the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana, sunflower farmers had previously given an ultimatum to the government till this day (June 6) to withdraw the decision and begin procurement on the MSP.
Earlier, a farmers’ delegation led by Chaduni had met state Education Minister Kanwar Pal in Chandigarh, who assured them that he would apprise the Chief Minister on their demand.
The BJP-led state government had decided to stop the procurement of sunflower seed on the MSP and to procure it under the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana at the rate of Rs 1,000 per quintal.
The farmers have been saying that they are selling the produce at Rs 4,000 per quintal to private buyers against the MSP of Rs 6,400.