April 23, 2021 10:48:25 am
The protesting farmers foiled the repeated efforts of the administration to reactivate the toll plaza on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway near Aasoda village of Jhajjar district in Haryana Thursday. They forced the toll booth staff to stop collecting fee from commuters. The agitators succeeded in ensuring free passage of vehicles despite deployment of over 500 security personnel, including those from paramilitary forces.
Talking to The Indian Express, a police official confirmed the development and said hundreds of farmers had gathered at the toll plaza Thursday to demand that the toll booth be shut with immediate effect.
The official said that the police had recently lodged an FIR against 125 agitators in connection with their efforts to close the toll plaza. For the past few days, the local administration with the deployment of heavy police force has made repeated attempts to make the toll plaza functional. But to foil the efforts of the administration, the agitator farmers have repeatedly staged protests at the toll plaza to stop collection of toll fee here.
Four days ago too, the farmers had gathered at the toll plaza to demand closure of the toll plaza. “Then, the leaders of farmer outfits and khaps had given an ultimatum to the administration to shut the toll plaza within four days. When the toll plaza was not shut, the farmers today reached the venue to make it non-functional,” said a local BKU leader, Suman Hooda.
According to Hooda, the Aasoda toll plaza had also been non-functional for the past few months like other toll booths on the national highways in Haryana as part of the ongoing farmer agitation launched against three contentious farm laws. However, Hooda said, the administration had made repeated efforts to get it functional during the past 10 days. The agitators had seen this as an attempt to make the toll plaza functional when most of the farmers were busy in harvesting season. Then, senior BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni had appealed to the farmers to reach the toll plaza to make it non-functional in a peaceful manner.
Hooda said, “Today, the farmers led by leaders of farmer organisations and khaps started reaching the toll plaza at 12:30 pm. The toll plaza was made non-functional to ensure free passage of the vehicles. Later, in a meeting with the administration, we demanded that the toll plaza be closed till farmer agitation is going on in the state.”
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