Updated: June 5, 2021 10:28:39 pm
JJP’s MLA from Tohana, Devender Babli, apparently succumbing to the pressure by farmers, announced on Saturday that he “forgives” those who attacked him on June 1 in Tohana’s market, while also “apologising” for the abuses that he hurled during a heated altercation with the men who had allegedly attacked him.
In the incident, Babli’s PA had sustained severe head injuries and his vehicle’s windscreen had been allegedly smashed by the attackers on June 1.
Earlier on Saturday, talking to media persons on the sidelines of Environment Day event in Karnal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, had said, “The protesters should not hamper law and order. They should do it peacefully. If it [the protests] impacts law and order, we shall take required action”.
A day after Babli’s attack. state Home minister Anil Vij had issued a stern warning to protesters not to indulge in any sorts of disruption of law and order.
Later, farmer leaders Rakesh Tikait and Gurnam Singh Chaduni reached Fatehabad, addressed a gathering of protesters before marching towards the police station to offer their arrests to express solidarity with those booked for the attack on Babli.
This in turn, many said, forced the JJP MLA to not only change his stance and “forgive” those who attacked him but also to apologise for the abuses that he had hurled during a heated argument with his alleged attackers on June 1.
In a video of Babli that went viral on social media, he was seen sitting with police personnel surrounding him, and saying “I forgive all those for whatever they did on that day. I also apologise for the words that I said, since I am a public representative”.
Fatehabad police had booked several farmers and detained a few for the attack on Babli. Reacting to the arrest of farmers and registration of FIRs against many others, farmer leaders Rakesh Tikait and Gurnam Singh Chaduni had reached Fatehabad and announced that they would also offer their arrest if the FIRs registered against farmers were not withdrawn and all those who were arrested/ detained were not released.
On Saturday, farm leaders also marked Sampoorna Kranti Diwas — on completion of one year when the three contentious farm bills were passed — and staged protests, shouted anti-government slogans, and blocked several roads as a mark of their resistance against the state as well as the Union governments. The state police force, in several districts, was placed on high alert to avoid any disruption of law and order in wake of the protests.
Farmers, during Saturday’s protest, also burnt copies of the farm legislations outside the residences of several MPs and MLAs, including outside the residences of Dushyant Chautala and MP Sunita Duggal in Sirsa, outside the residence of Hisar’s MP Brijendra Singh (son of former Union minister Birender Singh) in Jind, outside the residence of Bhiwani MP Dharambir Singh and outside JJP MLA from Badhra Naina Chautala’s residence.
Earlier in the day, heavy police barricading was done in Karnal where chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar was scheduled to preside over an event marking World Environment Day. Although protesting farmers had begun to gather around the venue, the heavy police contingent and the multi-layer barricading did not allow the agitators to break the cordon.
Khattar, Dushyant, several other MPs, and MLAs have been facing immense protests across the state, including their own respective constituencies over the past few months, over the three contentious farm laws that were passed by the Parliament in September last year. As a result of the farmer protests, several BJP-JJP leaders of Haryana had to cancel their scheduled events on Saturday.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.