Updated: September 19, 2021 4:28:15 am
The efforts to clear the blockade on National Highway-44 on Kundli-Singhu border suffered a major jolt Saturday as the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) announced that it will not attend a meeting called by the Haryana government’s high-powered committee on Sunday. The decision was taken at a meeting of 32 farmer unions of Punjab at the Singhu border.
The Haryana government had formed the committee comprising Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora as chairperson and the DGP and Additional DGP (Law and Order) among others as members on Wednesday, a day after Sonipat Deputy Commissioner Lalit Siwach held a meeting with farmers’ representatives over the blockade. An official statement on Tuesday had said while taking up a writ petition, the Supreme Court has asked the Sonipat district administration to provide a way to the common people in the public interest.
Siwach had urged the farmer unions to either shift to one side of the highway or move to an alternate site. It was in this context that the Haryana administration had invited office bearers of 43 farmer organisations to attend a meeting at Murthal on Sunday – a day before the case will come up for hearing in Supreme Court.
“All the unions under SKM had got letters to attend the meeting. But, on Saturday evening a nine-member committee of SKM suggested we boycott the meeting. The 32 farmer unions of Punjab have agreed to the suggestion,” said Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU Dakaunda, Punjab.
He added, “We have not blocked any road. It is the Delhi police that installed the barricades on the highway to halt our movement in November 2020 when we first reached there. This is the reason why we made our camp there. Barricading is still there. We are not blocking the way.we have rather cleared one side of the road for commuters. Moreover, this issue is regarding the Supreme Court’s writ petition in which we are not even a party. So there is no point attending that meeting.”
While hearing a writ petition on August 23, the SC had said, “We impressed upon the learned Solicitor General that the solution lies in the hands of Union of India and the concerned state governments and they must coordinate to ensure that if the protests are on, at least the inter-state roads and national highways are not blocked in any manner whatsoever so that to and fro on those roads does not cause great inconvenience to the other persons who use these roads”.
Buta Singh Burjgill, president of BKU Dakaunda, Dr Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union, Rajinder Singh general secretary Kirti Kisan Union, Jagjit Singh Dallewal BKU Sidhupur and many others attended Saturday’s meeting.
On Tuesday, the Sonipat DC had told farmers that while taking up a writ petition filed by Noida resident Monica Agarwal, the apex court has ordered that the farmers protesting on the Kundli-Singhu border in Sonipat district should give way to common people and shift to one side of the road.
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