April 2, 2021 12:03:27 am
A group of protesting farmers on Thursday 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.
Chautala was scheduled to participate in various events in Hisar. The farmers, who have announced a social boycott of the leaders from BJP-JJP alliance leaders to express resentment against the three central agri laws, began moving to Hisar early in the morning. Heavy security was deployed outside the Hisar airport and other places where the Chautala was scheduled to move in the town. Sources said that Chautala, who landed at 12.40 pm, remained inside the airport for at least two hours even as protesting farmers kept announcing that they won’t allow him to attend the functions in the town.
As farmers refused to relent, Chautala, at 3pm, boarded helicopter for the local Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University.
From the university, Chautala, via road, moved to local mini secretariat where he participated in an official function. From there, he went to attend the marriage function of boxer Pinki Jangra at Azad Nagar. Then, he moved to a relative in Sector- 13 of the town with protesting farmers showing black flags to his cavalcade on way.
A large number of farmers also rushed to gherao Chautala’s residence in Urban Estate. Police had installed barricades at the roads leading to his residence since morning. Sources said the farmers broke through the police barricade and reached near his house where they kept raising slogans. Chautala, however, did not go to his residence instead reached the University at 5: 15 pm and again boarded the helicopter to move to his next destination.
A farmer leader Vikas Sisar said the farmers broke two barricades near the Chautala’s residence in Urban Estate before burning his effigy there. The farmers stayed near his residence till 6: 30 pm, he said. “As per the decision of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, we will keep opposing the functions of BJP-JJP leaders till the farmers’ agitation is going on,” he added.
Hisar DIG Balwan Singh Rana confirmed that Chautala took the aerial route to move to the University from the airport to avoid any confrontation with the agitating farmers. Rana told The Indian Express that Chautala moved to several places in the town by road amid deployment of heavy police force. A senior officer of Hisar administration claimed “the Deputy CM attended all programmes as per his schedule”.
State JJP president, Nishan Singh, meanwhile said that government should resolve the farmers’ issue. “The government must listen to their grievances and consider the same sympathetically. The confrontation of farmers with the government doesn’t look nice,” he said.
It’s not the first time when farmers have held a protest against Chautala. Earlier, they had damaged a temporary helipad in Jind district’s Uchana town when they had come to know about his possible movement to the area. His close aide Jagdish Sihag, too, faced protests there thrice in recent past. Chautala represents the Uchana constituency in the Assembly. In 2014, he was elected Member of Parliament from Hisar Lok Sabha seat. However, he lost the seat to BJP in 2019 parliamentary polls. Currently, the JJP is a junior alliance partner in Haryana’s alliance government led by Manohar Lal Khattar. The farmers are opposing JJP leaders for supporting the BJP government on the issue of three farm laws. They have been demanding that the JJP should snap ties with BJP adding that Chautala had performed well in the 2019 Assembly polls mainly because of support from the farming community. Khattar too faced farmer protests and his helicopter was not allowed to land in Kaimla village of Karnal district in January this year.
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