JAIPUR: Farmers in Rajasthan staged a massive protest on the Jaipur-Sikar highway on Thursday to draw the attention of the authorities towards their demands. The farmers gathered around the state assembly, but after they were stopped from entering Jaipur, they staged a demonstration on the road.
The protest brought the highway to a standstill with nearly 5,000 vehicles stuck in the jam for several hours. The jam causing immense inconvenience to the people from adjoining districts like Jaipur, Sikar, Churu, Bikaner and Jhunjhunu also.
The farmers have been pressing for the fulfilment of their demands, including complete loan waiver and implementation of the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had announced in her budget speech that debts up to Rs 50,000 will be waived off, but the farmers are demanding a full waiver.
However, some farmers breached the massive police deployment at the city's borders and sneaked into the city, in response to the call given by Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha. They held a meeting at the Majdoor Kisan Bhawan in the city, which was addressed by Kisan Sabha president Ashok Dhaval and vice president Dulichand Meena, among others.
Protesting farmers proceeded towards the state Secretariat. But they were detained by police. Protestors even included several women. Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria said the farmers were stopped on the outskirts in line with the orders issued by the high court, and that no serious cases had been registered against any of them.
As per reports, the state government had arrested Kisan Mahasabha president Amara Ram, Pemaram and over 80 farmer leaders two days back to avert the protest.
Independent MLA Kirodilal Meena and Hanuman Beliwal, who announced forming a third front a few months back, were also part of this protest.
The farmer leaders announced that they would again stage demonstrations at the state assembly on February 22.