Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) leaders including its president Gurnam Singh Charuni, were arrested after farmers blocked a national highway, demanding that the government procure sunflower seeds at the minimum support price(MSP), police said on Wednesday.
After being detained on Tuesday evening, nine BKU (Charuni) leaders were arrested after a case was lodged under various IPC sections, police said.
Charges pertaining to rioting, unlawful assembly and using of criminal force to deter public servants from discharging their duty have been slapped against them, they said.
VIDEO | “Everyone (farmers) is united on the issue of minimum support price (MSP) and this fight will prolong,” says BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on farmers' protest against Haryana government's decision to not buy sunflower seed on MSP. pic.twitter.com/2aPiSkNuyb— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 7, 2023
The farmers led by Charuni had blocked the highway near Shahabad here for over six hours on Tuesday. The police used water cannons and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters.
Superintendent of Police, Kurukshetra, S S Bhoria told PTI that besides the nine BKU (Charuni) leaders, over two dozen protesters, who had been rounded up in connection with the farmers' protest, were released last night. The nine arrested BKU (Charuni) leaders would be produced before a court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, some farmers have gathered at the Shahbad-Ladwa Road near the grain market demanding the release of all arrested farmers.
Police have tightened security in the area as a precautionary measure after reports said BKU leader Rakesh Tikait may visit Shahabad in support of the farmers.
Bhoria said efforts are being made to convince protesting farmers at Shahbad-Ladwa Road to stop their dharna and vacate the spot at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Shahabad MLA Ram Karan Kala, also a leader of the ruling alliance, said he would resign from his post as the chairman of the Haryana Sugar Federation if the state government failed to procure sunflower seeds at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) from June 7.
Condemning police 'lathicharge' on the agitating farmers, the JJP leader claimed that he has met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar thrice over the issue to urge him to resolve the pending issues with the farmers. "But the CM maintained that a committee has been formed to resolve the issue," he said, adding that he supports the farmers' demands.
Earlier on Tuesday, farmers blocked the Delhi-Chandigarh national highway in front of the Shaheed Udham Singh memorial, about 25 kilometres from here for six hours, following a call given by BKU (Charuni) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni.
After the protest began, the traffic from NH-44 was diverted to various other routes from 12.45 pm onwards. The highway was cleared, and traffic movement was restored after 7 pm, following police action.
The protesting farmers said they are against the government's move to include sunflower seed in the Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana, under which they said the government will pay a fixed compensation of Rs 1,000 per quintal against the produce sold below MSP.
The protesters claimed they were forced to sell their produce to private buyers at around Rs 4,000 per quintal as against the MSP of Rs 6,400 per quintal.
Demanding that the government procure the produce at the MSP, the farmers said they had given the government time till Monday to accept their demand, but it did not pay heed.
Opposition parties including Congress, AAP and INLD had targeted the Haryana government over the use of force against the farmers.
(With PTI inputs)