January 28, 2021 6:04:05 am
A day after the tractor parades at Tikri, Ghazipur and Singhu culminated in violence, farmers who had been protesting at the Masani barrage on National Highway 48 for almost a month were Wednesday given an ultimatum by local panchayats to “clear the area within 24 hours”. By close of day, the protesters had started moving back to the Haryana-Rajasthan border.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Satnarayan Nehra of the Nehra Khap said, “Some of the local people in the area held a panchayat and with the support of the administration gave us no option but to return to the border… Our own Republic Day parade was completely peaceful. We cooperated with the police and administration, but this violence has weakened our cause and left us with no defence.”
It was at 10 am Wednesday that panchayats of 20 villages, including Masani village, held a meeting and decided to give an ultimatum to the farmers. “The incident has shamed India and every person here is also responsible for this. We cannot tolerate such things…,” said Lalram, sarpanch of Masani village.
He added that although the residents had been facing issues earlier itself, they had restrained themselves till now. “Some of the protesters had indulged in hooliganism; roads have been broken; crops have been damaged. Ours was an open defecation-free area but this is no longer true… (We) kept thinking that they are farmers and did not take any action,” alleged the sarpanch.
In Palwal, a day after farmers protesting against the three farm bills tried to break through police barricades, an FIR has been lodged against more than 2,000 people regarding the incident. “The FIR has been registered against 2,000 to 2,200 people in 350 to 400 tractors who became violent with police officers,” said Hanish Khan, the probe officer.
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