Farmers on Friday stopped the supply of vegetables, fruits, milk and other items to various cities of Punjab and Haryana as part of a nationwide strike against alleged anti-farmer policies of the Centre.
"We are getting very good response from fellow farmers for their support to this agitation. At majority of places in the state, farmers have stopped bringing vegetables, milk and other items to the cities for sale," claimed Balbir Singh Rajewal, president, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
"No farmer is being forced by anyone to stop bringing their produce. The farmers have so much anger against the central government that they became a part of this agitation on their own," said Rajewal.
The strong decision to stop supplies starting from June 1 till June 10 has been taken by the farmers under the banner of Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh and Kisan Ekta Manch.
A meeting of the coordination committee of these two farmers’ organisations, which are umbrella bodies of 172 farmers’ outfits, was held in Chandigarh in the month of May to give final shape to the programme.
Major states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and others along with Punjab and Haryana also stopped selling their products in cities, claimed Rajewal.
"During the 10-day long protest, the farmers will stay in their villages and will not go to cities for supplying their produce," he said.
"However, they can sell their produce among villagers," he said, adding that the first day of their agitation had been peaceful so far.
“Farmers in Haryana were also supporting us and have stopped supplying vegetables, milk and other items," said BKU Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chanduni.
Meanwhile, vegetable sellers of Punjab and Haryana feared that prices of vegetables could go up if fresh supplies did not come in the market.
There were also reports from Punjab that consumers started purchasing vegetable in bulk due to the ongoing farmers’ protest.
In a symbolic protest going in Punjab, some farmers even threw vegetable and milk on the road.
Here are the highlights on the nationwide farmers protest:
# 02:43 PM: Farmers in Bhopal say, 'This feels like a normal day, we are not facing any problem. We don't want any type of agitation and we are not even a part of it. This is a conspiracy of the political parties'.
# 12:31 PM: Farmers spill milk on the road during their 'Kisan Avkash' protest in Ludhiana's Samrala.
Punjab: Farmers spill milk on the road during their 10 days 'Kisan Avkash' protest, in Ludhiana's Samrala (Earlier visuals) pic.twitter.com/rh7Fp5uVnl— ANI (@ANI) June 1, 2018
# 11:45 AM: Farmers in Punjab's Faridkot throw their produce and hold back supplies like vegetable, fruits and milk from being supplied to cities, demanding farmer loan waiver and implementation of Swaminathan commission.
Punjab: Farmers in Faridkot thold back supplies like vegetable, fruits and milk from being supplied to cities, demanding farmer loan waiver and implementation of Swaminathan commission (Earlier visuals) pic.twitter.com/P4Zl0Y8lX1— ANI (@ANI) June 1, 2018
# 11:37 AM: Officers are corrupt. Farmers are not happy with govt. There are several reasons behind BJP's loss. I've nothing against govt, officers are at fault. Corruption, as compared to the last govt, is on a rise. That's the reason of my resentment: Shyam Prakash, BJP MLA on his Facebook post.
# 11:30 AM: Farmers begin on 10-days' strike in Sambhal 'Kisan Avkash' demanding loan waiver and implementation of Swaminathan commission.
Sambhal: Farmers begin on 10-days' strike 'Kisan Avkash' demanding loan waiver and implementation of Swaminathan commission pic.twitter.com/wMYpKQfV4X— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 1, 2018
# 11:25 AM: We have decided to observe a Bharat Bandh on June 10 till 2 pm. Would like to request all the businessmen of cities to close their shops till 2 pm and pay tribute to farmers who have lost their lives in previous years: Shiv Kumar Sharma, President, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh.
# 11:24 AM: More than 130 Farmers organisations are with us. This has now become a nationwide agitation. We have named the protest 'Gaon Band'. We won't go to cities, as we don't want to heckle the normal lives of the people: Shiv Kumar Sharma, President, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh.
More than 130 Farmers organisations are with us. This has now become a nationwide agitation. We have named the protest 'Gaon Band'. We won't go to cities, as we don't want to heckle the normal lives of the people: Shiv Kumar Sharma, President, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh pic.twitter.com/1UW0L0y7Nw— ANI (@ANI) June 1, 2018
# 11:23 AM: The situation is normal here. There is no shortage in supply of important things like milk and vegetables. We have deployed adequate police force so that if anything happens we can take care of it: OP Shrivastava, Mandsaur Collector on Farmers Protest.
# 10:21 AM: Security personnel have been deployed in Mandsaur as farmers observe 10-days' 'Kisan Avkash' during which they will not supply vegetables, grains and to the cities.
In the view of this nationwide farmers stir, the vegetable prices have risen sharply in western Madhya Pradesh as people were hoarding vegetables in advance to fulfil their daily needs in near future. Prices of almost all vegetables at Madhya Pradesh's Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Vegetable and Fruits Market had shot up ahead of this day-long stir. A cauliflower was selling at Rs 25 on Tuesday while a kilogram of lady finger was priced between Rs 40-45 against the earlier rate of Rs 20-25.