Punjab: Farmers' Jalandhar highway blockade enters third day
Chandigarh, Nov 23 (PTI) The highway blockade in Punjab's Jalandhar by the farmers who are demanding an increase in sugarcane prices entered its third day on Thursday.
Farmers led by Bharti Kisan Union (Doaba) are staging a 'dharna' in the middle of the Jalandhar-Phagwara section of the highway which has also affected traffic between Jalandhar and Delhi.
On Thursday, the farmers also blocked a section of the railway track near Dhanowali village in Jalandhar, which affected the train movement too, officials said.
Farmer leader Balwinder Singh had earlier said that they were forced to come out on roads by the state government which has still not announced the sugarcane prices, nor has started the cane crushing.
They said that the government had promised to resolve their issues on November 16 in a meeting but cancelled it a day before.
Farmers under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha blocked the Jalandhar-Phagwara section of the Jalandhar-New Delhi National Highway near Dhanowali village for an 'indefinite period' on Tuesday.
The protest in Jalandhar has affected the movement of vehicles from Jammu, Pathankot, and Amritsar via Jalandhar towards Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Nawanshahr, and Delhi.
With police diverting traffic towards alternative roads, the commuters had a harrowing time crossing the part of the district.
The farmers, who are demanding an increase in the prices of sugarcane from Rs 380 per quintal to Rs 450 per quintal, have put up a tent in the middle of the road and spending the night on the highway.
They are also demanding the resumption of sugar mills' operations for the crushing of cane.
In a sharp attack against farmers squatting on roads, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had on Wednesday asked the farm unions not to turn people against themselves.
If the farmers do not shun the practice of blocking roads every time their demands are not met, a day will come when people will stop sympathising with them, Mann had said.
The chief minister also said the doors of his office and residence are always open for dialogue as he pulled farmers' up for 'irresponsible attitude.' PTI SUN VSD VN VN
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