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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Haryana farmers’ protest: Support swells, thousands at toll plazas, highways blocked

At the Landhri toll plaza on Hisar-Sirsa national highway near Hisar, thousands of farmers vowed for a long battle against the three farm laws that they described as “anti-farmer”.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: February 2, 2021 10:30:43 pm
A large number of farmers, including women, turned up at a meeting of farmers at Landhdi toll plaza at Hisar- Sirsa National Highway on Tuesday. (Express photo)

Support is growing swiftly for the ongoing farmers’ agitation in Haryana with a large number of farmers turning up at dharna sites at toll plazas on the national highways on Tuesday.

At the Landhri toll plaza on Hisar-Sirsa national highway near Hisar, thousands of farmers vowed to wage a long battle against the three farm laws that they described as “anti-farmer”.

A large number of women also participated in the meeting, which was addressed by farmer leaders Ashok Dhawale, Kulwant Singh Sandhu and Gurnam Singh Chaduni. The women had arrived singing revolutionary songs.

On the day, the farmers also blocked the Patiala-Jind-Rohtak-Delhi national highway at Khatkar toll plaza near Narwana town along the Jind and Hisar-Chandigarh national highway Tuesday to oppose internet curbs in some parts of the state.

On Monday night, the farmers had blocked the Jind-Chandigarh highway at Kandela village for some time. They said the suspension of internet services had adversely affected the studies of their children.

At Katkar toll plaza, a khap leader, Azad Palwa said, “Not only farmers but people from all sections of society are upset because of the suspension of internet services. It has affected not only the studies of the children but also official work.”

“The previous government used to suspend the internet services so that lies do not spread but the Modi government has suspended the internet services so that people don’t know the reality. It wants to suppress the voice of people and wants to harass them by disturbing their daily life schedule. The government wants to break the farmers’ agitation but farmers won’t bow down to such pressure tactics,” said Palwa, adding that the highway has been blocked on the call of khap panchayats.

The state government says it has suspended internet services “in order to stop the spread of disinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Twitter on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitation and mobilization of mobs of agitators and demonstrators who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public and private properties by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities”.

However, Khera khap president Satbir Pahalwan said, “Till now, they (BJP government) were harassing the farmers but now they are harassing the entire country. This government is pushing for digital India but has suspended the internet services that has affected the functioning of banks and shops too.”

The khap leader also criticised the authorities for embedding iron nails in rows at Tikri border, apparently to puncture the tyres of vehicles coming in from the Haryana side. A large number of farmers are sitting on a dharna at Tikri border. “They have stopped the supply of ration and water to the dharna sites apart from discontinuing electricity supply. This is very unfortunate. They are treating us like Pakistanis and Chinese (on border). Why are they (authorities) constructing concrete structures at the Delhi borders? They have gheraoed the farmers at Delhi borders,” said Pahalwan.

Another khap leader Vijender Sindhu said, “Why don’t they make such arrangements at Pakistan borders so that intrusion of terrorists can be stopped?”

Meanwhile, two big kisan mahapanchayats have been scheduled at Kandela village and Khatkar plaza of Jind district on Wednesday, which will also be addressed by Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait.

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