Over 40,000 farmers participated in the statewide agitation in Uttar Pradesh demanding an increase in minimum support price (MSP) for sugarcane. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) had organized this protest on December 10. The anguished farmers hit the streets in several districts and blocked highways and torched ‘ganna holis’ during their agitation. The demonstrations were held mainly between 11 am to 2 pm and were called off after submitting the memorandum to the administrative officers.
The first agitation began early in the morning at 4.30 am in Lucknow when farmers from several areas marched towards Vidhan Bhavan. However, police had barricaded the road and stopped the protesters from marching towards Vidhan Bhavan. Police also used water cannons to disperse the protesters. Several protesters were detained and taken away from the protest venue.
The protests in other districts of Uttar Pradesh began from 11 am when groups of 200-300 farmers gathered on various highways & roads and blocked traffic movement. In Muzaffarnagar, protests were held at 14 points along state and national highways while in Bijnor, protests were held at 40 locations. Other districts where protests were held include – at one point each in Amroha, Lakhimpur Kheri and Sambhal; at four points in Moradabad; at six places in Hapur; in Saharanpur at 8 points; Bulanshahr witnessed protests at nine locations; three areas in Shamli; four points in Faizabad and Meerut district witnessed protests at 8 points. Protesters had blocked the national highway at Modinagar in Ghaziabad and in Shahzad Nagar of Rampur. Noida’s Jevar Gol Chowk was also blocked by farmers while protests were held at three points in Shahjahanpur. In Sitapur, protests were held at Lal Chowk whereas, the Sadabad-Mathura Road in Mathura was also blocked. In Baghpat, blockade was imposed at 4-5 points while in Aligarh protests were held a five locations.
The farmers had blocked the traffic for three hours between 11 am to 2 pm at all protest locations and burnt sugarcane in the form of ‘holika’. Huge traffic jams were reported from the protest locations across the state. However, the protests were finally called off after 2 pm by submitting the memorandum of demands to the administrative officers. BKU also warned the government that, if their demands are not fulfilled by December 20, they will hold mega protests at all district headquarters on December 21.
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