Demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee's recommendations, crop loan waiver and removing restriction on cattle trade, farmers in Rajasthan’s Sikar have blocked entry and exit paths to three districts, forcing the state government to ban internet services and impose the Section 144 in the district.
The farmers, who have been protesting for the last 13 days, have gathered at around 250 different locations in the region, blocking highways and inconveniencing locals and commuters, reports India Today.
According to the report, thousands have occupied the Jaipur-Sikar route, and continue to block the area outside the agriculture produce market. Several roads connecting Jaipur to Jhunjhunu, Churu, and Bikaner are blocked.
Famers are facing bad times due to faulty policies of the state government, they alleged.
The Section 144 has been imposed within a two-kilometre radius around the Sikar district collectorate, and mobile internet services have been disabled in the entire district.
On Tuesday, PTI reported that senior BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari and former Speaker Sumitra Singh in a joint statement said the protest of farmers was crucial and the state government was taking it lightly.
Farmers’ main demands:
Loan waiver for all agricultural workers, and for poor and middle farmers
A greater allocation for MGNREGA
Higher wages and more days of work
Pension of Rs 5,000 per month for every farmer and agricultural worker aged above 60 years
Effective crop insurance, protection of crops from stray cattle and wild animals
The withdrawal of the order restricting cattle trade