Opposing land acquisition for the Delhi-Katra Express Highway, farmers today blocked the Bathinda-Chandigarh National Highway in Patiala and marched towards the Chief Minister residence but were stopped by a heavy police force.
Thereafter, they started a sit-in on the highway. Protesting under the Delhi-Katra Express Highway Kisan Sangharsh Committee, they said the state government should halt the land acquisition process until the agitation against the three agricultural laws came to a logical conclusion.
Harmanpreet Singh, committee coordinator, said: “Despite assurances, the government continues with the acquisition process. This shows that Capt Amarinder Singh is hand in glove with PM Narendra Modi. Farmers are protesting at Delhi borders and the state government is instrumental in acquiring their land.”
The farmers also said they were not getting adequate compensation for their land. Gurnaib Singh, a protesting farmer, said: “The government is acquiring land at low rates to help industrialists. So, we won’t sell our lands for the express highway. Secondly, we will hold talks with the government only after the farmers’ agitation at Delhi borders is over.”
Ramesh Dalal, president of Bharat Bhoomi Bachao Sangharsh Committee, joined the protesting farmers. Dalal said: “The farmers will be benefitted only if the government gives four times the market price and not the collector rate, which has not been revised for decades.”The protesting farmers said they would stage a sit-in for five days and would again march towards the CM residence on the sixth day if their demands were not met.