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Haryana: Hundreds of farmers protest against farm sector ordinances, block NH-44

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Chandigarh, Sep 10: The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and other farmer organisations on Thursday blocked the national highway at Pipli in Kurukshetra district of Haryana to protest the Centre's three farm ordinances, which they claimed were "anti-farmers".

"The government wants to suppress our movement by citing coronavirus as an excuse but we will continue our fight against the anti-farmer decisions," said BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni, while addressing the gathering that had blocked the national highway.

Haryana: Hundreds of farmers protest against farm sector ordinances, block NH-44

Chaduni said the government was forcing the farmers to hold protests by bringing ordinances in the name of bringing agriculture reforms.

The agitated farmers, prevented from entering Kurukshetra district, blocked traffic on NH44 going towards Ambala on the outskirts of Kurukshetra and shouted slogans against the use of police force.

BKU claimed that the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the agitators sat on a dharna on the National Highway 22 to block the traffic.

"Hundreds of farmers managed to reach Pipli Chowk and pelted stones on the police personnel manning the barriers," a police officer said.

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    Meanwhile, the BJP-led state government had asked the BKU not to go ahead with the rally in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

    More than one hundred farmers while proceeding towards Pipli, travelling on their tractors and other vehicles broke the police barriers raised at Dayalpur crossing in Kurukshetra city.

    Farmer leader Akshay Hathira told media that the state government was trying to curb the voice of farmers by banning the rally and imposing prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 at Pipli.

    The farmers are against the three ordinances passed by the union cabinet, namely; the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020, and the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, in June this year.

    While the government has said that the ordinances will create an environment where farmers and traders have a free choice of sale and purchase, farmers allege that with these ordinances, the government was planning to discontinue the MSP regime.

    Notably, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had on Wednesday extended his support to the agitation against the ordinances, which he claimed "seek to remove protection given to farmers".

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