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Farmers' rally leaves Capital in a jam

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. A large procession of farmers from different States under the aegis of the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement caused huge traffic snarls in the heart of the Capital today, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded for hours.

The farmers led by the president of the Coordination Committee of the Bharat Kisan Andolan, Mahender Singh Tikait, gathered at Kishan Ghat in the morning and then proceeded towards Jantar Mantar to "gherao" Parliament. All roads leading to Connaught Place were choked when the procession -- comprising over 15,000 farmers -- entered the Outer-Circle through Ranjit Singh flyover.

The police had to stop vehicular movement on many roads to allow the procession to pass. Several commuters complained that they were stranded for hours in the traffic jam. The protestors finally dispersed around 6-30 p.m. after a 27-member team handed over a memorandum to the Prime Minister's Office.

Their demands included exclusion of the agriculture sector from the World Trade Organisation purview, increase in duty on import of agriculture products and proper insurance cover for farmers. They also demanded promotion of small-scale industries based on agriculture for employment generation in rural areas.

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