Massive protest by farmers outside Bhagwant Mann's house; cops resort to lathicharge
Labour union workers staged a massive protest outside the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Sangrur on Wednesday, with police resorting to lathicharge to disperse them. The workers, who were protesting under the banner of Sanjha Mazdoor Morcha, a joint front of eight labour unions, have demanded a hike in wages.
Hundreds of agricultural labourers, part of eight labour unions, assembled outside Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's Sangrur residence on Wednesday seeking fulfilment of their demands. The massive demonstration turned into chaos as the Punjab Police used lathicharge to separate the gathering.
The protesters demanded the implementation of five-marla land programmes for Dalits, an increase in the minimum daily salary to Rs 700 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005 (MGNREGA). The demonstrators also demand an increase in compensation for land acquisition, help for farmers who have lost animals to lumpy skin disease, and compensation for agricultural loss. Dalits should also have a 33% participation in local cooperative organisations.
The farmers initially assembled near the Pariala Bypass before moving to the chief minister's mansion, where there was already a significant police presence. When the demonstrators began to approach Maan's home, the police attempted to force them away, which caused a fight between them.
Images from the demonstration location showed workers being physically assaulted by the police as they waved flags and shouted slogans. During the cane-charging, a few of the workers were hurt.
Eight labour unions joined together to form the Sanjha Mazdoor Morcha, which served as the protest's umbrella organisation. To disperse the demonstrators, police used cane charges, which created havoc at the protest location.
Bhagwant Mann, the chief minister of Punjab, is in Gujarat promoting the forthcoming assembly elections on December 1. Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party has claimed that the protests are being backed by the BJP. The ruling party in Gujarat, AAP leaders said, is under pressure by the AAP campaign and this is their way of hitting back.
(Photo: @JhaRahul_Bihar | Twitter)