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Haryana farmers take protest to streets against Karnal lathicharge, block roads

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Thousands of farmers from across Haryana, under the banner of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, blocked various roads here on Monday to protest the infamous lathicharge on “peacefully protesting farmers” in the state, on Saturday. The blockade led to huge traffic jams causing inconvenience to the commuters.

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The farmers gathered at the McDonald chowk on the Chandigarh-Ambala road in Zirakpur, blocking the traffic for nearly two hours. They, however, allowed the ambulances and other emergency vehicles to pass through.

The police personnel were seen diverting traffic to save the commuters. The protesting farmers raised slogans against the ruling BJP and the Haryana Government and also burnt the effigy of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Addressing the gathering, farmer leaders Prem Singh and Deedar Singh Shatabgarh said on one side “the Centre is bent upon harassing the farmers and is not interested in fulfilling their genuine demands” and on the other side, the Haryana Government was lathicharging the protesters to “suppress their voice”.

“The Centre should not remain under any illusion. The use of force is only increasing the anger of farmers,” they said. The two further said the government had “stooped” to such a level that they were not even sparing the elderly and the children.

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Due to the lathicharge, one of the elderly farmer has died, they claimed and announced that the BJP leaders would not be allowed to enter any of the Punjab villages.

Surjit Singh, Baljinder Singh, Jagtar Singh, Manish Kumar, Vijay Kumar and Hardeep Singh also addressed the protesting farmers.

Meanwhile, hundreds of farmers converged at the Mullanpur Barrier on the Kurali-Baddi road and blocked the traffic for over two hours. The farmers also gathered at the Landran traffic light point and disrupted traffic on the Mohali-Sirhind road.

Sikh farmer leader and president of the Chandigarh unit of the All-India Jatt Mahasabha Rajinder Singh Badheri on Sunday demanded the removal of the SDM for “inflicting torture” on protesting farmers at Karnal. Badheri also said the SDM should be “prosecuted for intent to murder” as Sushil Kajal, a farmer from Raipur Jattan village in Karnal district, who was injured during the protest, died on Sunday. “His martyrdom will not go unnoticed,” he said.

On his visit to Daria village on Sunday, Arun Sood, president of BJP’s Chandigarh unit, challenged farm activists for an open debate on the contentious agro-marked laws. The farm activists said, they have asked Sood for a time and place for the debate. “I went to Sood and humbly asked for time and place for the debate. He told me, its Janmashtami tomorrow, so we can meet a day after and debate these laws,” said Harjeet Singh, one of the protesters.

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