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13 farmers who waved black flags at Khattar convoy booked for attempt to murder, rioting 

FIR says ‘secret sources’ said they could have ‘caused damage to CM’, farmers say ‘they had gone to protest, not kill anyone’

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh | Updated: December 24, 2020 8:37:13 am
Black flags showing while Haryana CM's convoy passing through Agrasen Chowk in Ambala on Tuesday. (Express Photo by A. Aggarwal)

HARYANA POLICE have booked 13 farmers — who had waved black flags at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s convoy in Ambala while protesting against the farm laws Tuesday — on various charges including attempt to murder and rioting.

The FIR was lodged Tuesday night under nine sections of the IPC including 307 (attempt to murder), and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.

The farmers said “false cases are being lodged against them to suppress their voice”.

According to the FIR, the protesters have been accused of “obstruction in their duty, push and shove and attempt to murder” and blocking the cavalcade. The FIR has been lodged on the complaint of a policeman, Gurjant Singh.

A large number of farmers had gathered in Ambala ahead of Khattar’s public meetings on Tuesday. The FIR says: “Kisan union has launched an agitation against three farm laws of the central government. Today also, the leaders of kisan union and a large number of people had gathered at Anaj Mandi, Ambala City. We have come to know through secret sources that they can cause damage to the hon’ble chief minister and other dignitaries. The policemen on duty through loudspeaker said they can hold their protest against the laws but peacefully…but despite that they reached Agrasen Chowk from Anaj Mandi while carrying black flags in their hands…At 12.30, when the CM cavalcade reached Agrasen Chowk, they stopped way to the warning and pilot vehicles and caused damage to these vehicles with their sticks. When police administration was providing exit to the cavalcade by diverting its route, these rioters and others stopped the way and attacked the policemen.”

Bhartiya Kisan Union Ambala district president Malkit Singh has criticised the Khattar government for lodging FIR against farmers. “The farmers had just gone to stage a protest not to kill anybody. Whenever any matter of farmer agitation comes, the police don’t slap charges less than of attempt to murder against us. Attempt to murder charges were slapped even for getting opened the roads which were blocked by the authorities during the farmer agitation,” Singh told The Indian Express.

“But the government can’t suppress the voice of farmers through such tactics. Sometimes, they label farmers as Congressmen while in another instance, they say agitator farmers are associated with some other opposition party. But we are just farmers. We are installing boards in villages that only those political leaders will be allowed to enter villages who raise the voice of farmers. Anti-farmer leaders won’t be allowed to enter villages,” he added.

In Fatehabad, farmers staged a big protest demanding withdrawal of cases lodged against the agitators in connection with their recent protest. After holding a ‘Kisan Panchayat’, farmers marched to the office of local BJP MLA BJP Dura Ram to urge him to withdraw support from the BJP-JJP government. Before this the farmers even blocked the road for some time. Several farmers were booked in connection with their protest which was held against the BJP leaders, who were observing fast on the issue of SYL canal recently. The farmers had accused BJP leaders of using “tactics” to break the unity of farmers of Punjab and Haryana against three farm laws. The farmers protest had forced BJP leaders to leave the fast venue.

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