CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notice to the state of Punjab and the Union of India on Tuesday. Besides, the notice has also been issued to DGP, Punjab, SSP, Kapurthala, District Magistrate and Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar Division in the matter of protest to be organised on Wednesday (November 15) by the farmers’ bodies near Chaheru bridge, National Highway No1 at Phagwara. The notice has been issued for November 15. Various farmers’ organisations to which the notice has also been issued include Doaba Sangharash Committee, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Kadian), Majha Kisan Sangharash Committee, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha (RMPI) and Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Piddi).These farmers’ organisations have planned to hold an agitation in support of their demands. The farmers’ bodies have been issued “dasti” notice. A PIL was filed by president Harman Singh Sidhu of the Arrive Safe Society praying the court to issue directions to the state government and others in this regard so that smooth traffic flow continue and damage to public and private property. The petitioner has prayed that the directions to the respondents/authorities be issued to protect the life, liberty and property. Counsel for the Punjab government told the court that if the farmers’ bodies would file application for changing the agitation venue then it would be considered sympathetically in accordance with law. The Division Bench comprising Justices A K Mittal and Amit Rawal was informed by the Punjab counsel that Kaputhala and Jalandhar District Magistrates had already passed orders under Section 144 of the Cr PC prohibiting assembly of five or more persons within Kapurthala and Jalandhar. The court said that dharna or agitation without Kapurthala district magistrate’s prior approval would not ‘satisfy the test of being legal.’ The petitioner informed that the main motive to hold this agitation was to block the smooth flow of traffic on National Highway to pressurise the government. The main demands of the farmers are payment of arrears of Rs 76 crore from 2016, early procurement of CO 0238 type of sugarcane which usually life in January every year and to increase minimum support price (MSP) of sugarcane crop to Rs.350 per quintal, which is now Rs 300 per quintal.
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