Haryana farmers took to the streets near Shahabad, on Tuesday afternoon and blocked the Delhi-Chandigarh national highway demanding a minimum support price (MSP) for sunflower seeds.
The protest call was given by BKU (Charuni) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni. The protesting farmers claimed that the government was not buying sunflower seeds at the minimum support price, and as a result, they were forced to sell their produce to private buyers at around Rs 4,000 per quintal against Rs 6,400 MSP.
As per the protesters, they had given the government time till Monday, but their demand was taken into account.
Notably, the Haryana government has decided to buy sunflowers under the Bhavantar scheme in which Rs 4800 price has been fixed and Rs 1000 will be given to the farmers under Bhavantar Yojana. A total of Rs 5800 will be given to the farmer per quintal of sunflower. But the MSP is Rs 6400 which the government is not procuring.
With an aim to control the situation, police used water cannons to disperse the protesters and baton-charged them.
Kurukshetra Superintendent of Police said that an investigation against the people who took the law into their hands will be done.
“This is a National Highway, so the protest was blocking the way of many people. Following all the protocols, we asked them to leave. The situation is now peaceful whereas some people were detained. An investigation against the people who took the law into their hands will be done. We will take the necessary action,” the police said.
Congress slammed the Haryana government led by Manohar Lal Khattar over police action against the protesting farmers.
Taking to Twitter Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the lathi-charge by police has exposed the “hatred” of the Khattar government towards the farmers.
“The Khattar government became a “lattha ki sarkar”. Lathicharge on farmers in Kurukshetra will be the last nail in the coffin of the BJP-JJP government. The MSP of the sunflower crop is Rs 6,400 but the farmer is forced to sell the crop for Rs 4,000-4,500. On asking for justice, you get sticks. This oppression will not be tolerated anymore. The merciless lathi-charge at farmers in Shahabad of Kurukshetra has exposed the hatred of the Khattar government towards the farmers,” Surjewala said in a tweet in Hindi.