Shimla | TNR
The United Kisan Manch and local apple growers blocked the convoy of Horticulture Minister Mahendra Singh Thakur in Theog while he was on his way to visit Parala Mandi on National Highway-5.
Protest over minister’s statement
The protest took place in the backdrop of the statement made by the minister two days ago. The minister had stated that apples should be sold in the open in crates, discarding cartons as that would save up on the cost of packaging, etc which had angered growers. Furious growers raised “go back” slogans against the minister and even got into a heated argument with the police.
Highway blocked for some time
While the local police and SDM tried to pacify the growers, the NH-5 was kept closed for almost 15 minutes. Ultimately, the minister himself got out of his vehicle and tried to speak to the protestors. Traffic was restored following this. Mahendra Singh stated that his intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments and that his statement was misconstrued and taken out of context. The United Kisan Manch demanded that the minister retract his statement and implement the APMC Act in letter and spirit. Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar, Choupal MLA Balveer Verma and APMC chairman Naresh Sharma were also present when the incident took place.