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Friday, April 16, 2021

Rohtak: Farmers protesting against Khattar lathicharged, CM forced to shift chopper landing site

The purpose of Khattar’s Saturday visit was to attend a prayer meeting to pay his respects to Rohtak MP Dr Arvind Sharma’s deceased father, who passed away last month.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
April 3, 2021 9:18:18 pm
Farmers protestAccording to a statement released by the police, as many as 11 persons have been booked by name apart from 8-10 other accused agitators. (File Photo)

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar faced a massive protest by farmers in Rohtak on Saturday which led to a clash between police and protesters and even forced district authorities to shift the helipad for the CM’s chopper from a private university campus to Rohtak policelines. A few policemen and at least two farmers were injured in the clash.

The protest against the CM comes close on the heels of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala too facing a major farmers’ protest.

The purpose of Khattar’s Saturday visit was to attend a prayer meeting to pay his respects to Rohtak MP Dr Arvind Sharma’s deceased father, who passed away last month.

The CM finally landed at policelines after the helipad was shifted from Baba Mastnath University (BMU) campus.

Earlier, Khattar was scheduled to land in BMU at about 2 pm. As the farmers got to know of CM’s scheduled visit, they began marching towards the BMU helipad from the Makdauli toll plaza on the Rohtak-Gohana highway. They were stopped at a distance from BMU and police did not allow them to cross the barricading.

Agitated farmers kept protesting for more than two hours. According to the police, a group started pelting stones at policemen following which a mild lathicharge was ordered to disperse the agitated mob.

Vazir Singh, sarpanch of Dhamra village who was among the ones leading the protest, said, “We were a group of 150-200 farmers. We wanted to reach Baba Mastnath University helipad and lodge our protest against the three farm legislations. But, the police did not let us cross the barricades and rather cane charged us. Even after suffering police blows, we kept raising our voice against these three black laws. Then, we were informed that the CM’s landing venue has been shifted to police lines, Rohtak. We were not allowed to go towards that side. But this is barbaric on part of police to use lathis on innocent farmers. At least two old-age men received injuries on their head as police assaulted them mercilessly.”

Sumit, another farmer who was among the protestors, added, “We were holding a peaceful march. Most of us were only carrying black flags as a mark of our protest against the three farm legislations. We had no other intention but to show our resentment to the CM. Instead, police blocked our way and used force on hapless farmers. Several of us got injured, at least two seriously”.

SKM condemns lathicharge

In a statement issued later this evening, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha condemned lathicharge on farmers in Rohtak.

“An elderly man, besides several others, sustained injuries in police brutality. Without any provocation, police used force and cane charged the farmers,” the statement said.

Farmers block highway in Jind

In retaliation to the incident, farmers blocked national highway near Kandela village in Jind district this evening. Police had to divert traffic to alternate routes. Talks were going on till late evening between police and farmers to clear the blockade on the national highway. Farmers have been demanding release of Ravi Azad, a farmer leader who was detained by police in Hisar. They have also condemned the recent attack on Rakesh Tikait.

Besides other BJP and JJP leaders of Haryana, Khattar and Dushyant have been facing immense protests by people for over last two months. Several of their programmes had to be either shifted or rescheduled in wake of the farmer protests.

On April 1, a group of protesting farmers had forced Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala to take a helicopter from Hisar airport to Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University — a distance of just over 8 kilometres — in the town from where he moved ahead via road to attend an official function. The protesters, including a large number of women, also kept following Chautala for several hours in Hisar and left the town only after he flew to the next destination from there.

BJP leader takes on farmers in viral clip

Reality TV star and BJP’s 2019 Vidhan Sabha nominee from Adampur constituency, Sonali Phogat’s video has gone viral on social media in which she can be seen using objectionable language against farmers. Although she was not available for comments, Saturday, but she was visible using objectionable language in response to the comments of people on her social media accounts. “Sarkaar ache se apna kaam kar rahi hai. Jawaab ache se mila na kal. Deputy CM sahab jo kay aaye Hisar mein, kya ukhaad liya aapne, kya ukhaad liya aapne bhai deputy CM Dushyant Chautala ka aapne? Aaya helicopter se, jo-jo kaam usko karne the, secretariat gaya, uske baad usko jo meeting leni thi voh li, inauguration karna tha jis cheez ka voh kiya, fir apne rishtedaar ke ghar bhi gaya, kya ukhaad liya aap logon ne? Kuch kar paye aap log? Sarkaar hai. Sarkaar ke jo bhi log jo karte hain, aap logon ke liye kar rahe hain, aap logon ki bhalai ke liye kar rahe hain,” Phogat was seen saying in the video.

Sonali Phogat had contested as BJP’s nominee from Adampur constituency under Hisar parliamentary seat and lost to Congress Kuldeep Bishnoi in 2019 assembly polls of Haryana.

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