Amritsar (Punjab) [India], January 29 (ANI): The National Capital Region, Punjab and Haryana have together suffered a trade loss of about Rs 30,000 crore due to agitation by farmer unions against three farm laws, Punjab Pradesh Vyapar Mandal president Pyare Lal Seth has said.
He has appealed to the central and state governments to find a solution to the stalemate at the earliest.
He also alleged a "planned conspiracy" behind the violence which took place in Delhi during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day.
"When the movement began, we were requesting Punjab state and central governments to resolve the issue as trade had already suffered due to COVID-19 and lockdown. According to our estimates, NCR, Punjab and Haryana suffered at least Rs 30,000 crore trade loss (due to agitation). The rail services in Punjab have been impacted," Seth told ANI.
He said the issue has not been resolved for two months. "There is a general opinion among people whatever happened on January 26 is planned. They (protestors) were instigated. There might be some foreign elements behind it. We request both state and central governments to resolve the issue. Non-performing assets will increase by March. Unemployment will also increase," he added.
Bibi Jagdish Kaur, an eye-witness to the 1984 riots, also alleged a conspiracy behind Delhi violence in which over 390 police personnel suffered injuries.
"It was the agitation of farmers. Whatever happened at Red Fort is painful. Those who raised the flag at Red Fort... I think there is some conspiracy. If the Khalistani elements join farmers, the situation will be bad for the country and the public will also be hurt," she said.
Prof Kuldeep Singh, who teaches political science in Guru Nanak University, Amritsar, said that the incident of Red Fort is a setback for farmers' agitation as well.
"There are apprehensions about the revival of terrorism in Punjab but there is nothing like that. It is the responsibility of farmer unions to separate themselves from anti-national elements. There is no group of Sikhs in Punjab that supports terrorism. There is no support of terrorism in Punjab," he said.
Kiranjot Kaur, a member of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), said there is no support for "Khalistani" elements on the ground.
Thousands of people were killed in Punjab during militancy that lasted nearly 10 years in the eighties and early nineties.
Delhi witnessed violence during the tractor march by farmers on Republic Day to protest against three farm laws. The protestors violated the agreement about the route for the tractor march and entered central Delhi after forcibly removing barricades. Several policemen were injured in the violence and vehicles were damaged.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws - 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.
The government and farmers have held nine rounds of talks. Farmer unions have rejected government's offer to put farm laws on hold for about 18 months. (ANI)