Over 60 farmers were detained on Friday after they tried to block the busy Sultanpur Road on the outskirts of Lucknow during a protest against the three agricultural laws, the police said. Other protestors were dispersed. The agitating farmers were from the rural pockets of Lucknow and adjoining districts.
Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Naveen Arora said following local intelligence inputs, heavy force had been deployed at various vulnerable points on the outskirts of the city in order to check the entry of protestors into the state capital. He added that some protestors were detained.
Despite the elaborate security arrangements, a large group of farmers associated with the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) reached Sultanpur Road to support the anti-farm laws agitation. The farmers said their protest was against the new laws, harassment in the name of stubble burning and several other issues.
“The protest was staged on the call of our union against the government’s anti-farmer policies,” said Anil Dubey, a farmer who was heading the protest here in the state capital.
The three laws, which according to the farmers would make them vulnerable to exploitation by big corporations, are: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
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Some farmers also criticised the government’s wheat procurement system, saying it was another way to harass farmers.
“Wheat is not being procured in an effective way. Also, the farmers are being harassed in the name of stubble burning. FIRs are being lodged against poor farmers. We strongly oppose the harassment of farmers,” another farmer said.
A group of farmers staged a march from Bagiyamau to the main Sultanpur highway where they were detained.
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The protest call was given by several farmers’ unions associated with the All India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee.
Other than Sultanpur Road on Shaheed Path, heavy police force was deployed on the Faizabad Road near Chinhat in anticipation of protests. Barring Sultanpur Road, no farmer protest was reported elsewhere in the state capital.