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Monday, November 23, 2020

Haryana farmers to block highways for 4 hrs today; security tightened

According to the police, the Bhartiya Kisan Union led by Gurnam Singh Chaduni has announced that it will hold a major protest to block the highway at one location near Nilokheri in Karnal.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Hisar | November 5, 2020 9:47:53 am
farm laws, farmers protest, farmers protest, punjab farmers, punjab bjp congressProtesting farmers during a "Chakka jam" against farm bills. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh/File)

Intensifying their agitation against the Centre’s farm laws, farmers unions from Haryana have announced that they will block national highways from 12 pm to 4 pm on Thursday. According to police reports, districts falling under Hisar, Rohtak and Ambala police range will be focal points.

In Fatehabad district, farmer unions have declared they will block national highways at six locations, while highways will be blocked at three locations in Hisar district. A farmer leader from Fatehabad, Mandeep Nathwan said the farmers have plans to block roads in Fatehabad district for three hours (from 12 noon to 3 pm), keeping in view the ongoing harvesting season.

Police sources said a large gathering of farmers is expected near Nilokheri (Karnal) to block the Delhi-Ambala national highway. However, according to DGP Manoj Yadava, a Karnal court has ordered farmer unions not to block the national highway. “The court has said they (farmers) can sit in a protest dharna and the police should designate a place for them. We have requested the union to cooperate and honour the court order,” Yadava told The Indian Express Wednesday.

“For the rest of the areas, we have made elaborate arrangements. We have mobilised the police force,” he added.

The DGP held a detailed meeting with district SPs in this regard on Wednesday.

“We are trying to ensure the protest causes minimum inconvenience to commuters. We will persuade them not to block the roads. If the roads are blocked, we will divert the traffic. We hope that it will be observed in a peaceful manner,” said Yadava.

According to the police, the Bhartiya Kisan Union led by Gurnam Singh Chaduni has announced that it will hold a major protest to block the highway at one location near Nilokheri in Karnal. “They have assured us that they won’t block any road in Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Ambala. The union has requested farmers from these districts to move to near Nilokheri (Karnal). The court order pertains to the spot near Nilokheri itself and we have informed the union about it,” a police officer said.

“For the rest of Haryana, the unions have announced they will block the roads at certain places, in some districts, three to four places. The number of such spots is very high in Fatehabad and Sirsa districts. However, in some places, they will block the roads at only one place. We believe some southern Haryana districts including Narnaul, Rewari, Palwal and Nuh are not going to have any protests more or less. As per our information, there are no plans of road blockade in these districts. These districts were not affected during the previous call for road blockade given by the farmer unions too. That time, Faridabad and Gurgaon were also not affected,” said the officer.

He further said that police and district administration have maintained constant dialogue with the farmers and their unions.

On the other hand, Bhartiya Kisan Sanghrash Samiti state president Vikas Sisar claimed they will stage protests to raise their voice against the “anti-farmer” laws. “We don’t want to cause inconvenience to anyone. But if we don’t raise our voices today, future generations won’t forgive us because the new laws will harm farmers most,” said Sisar.

In Hisar district, farmers have plans to block the national highway which connects Delhi to Hisar at Sarsod-Bichhapadi village. This is the same spot where JJP MLA from Barwala, Jogi Ram Sihag, had reached to support agitating farmers against the farm laws on October 20, when farmers were blocking the roads. Later, Sihag had refused to accept the post of the Haryana Housing Board’s chairperson too while standing firm in support of the agitating farmers against the three farm laws. “I believe these laws are not good for farmers, labourers and arhtiyas (commission agents) at mandis. With these laws the mandis will stand ended and the farmers will stand defeated. The common man won’t get food grains when they will need then,” Sihag had stated then.

Another blockade in Hisar district will be observed at Singhwa Khas village to block the Hisar-Delhi national highway. Farmers plan to sit on the road at Narnaund to block the Jind-Hisar highway.

“We have gone from village to village to make farmers aware, telling them how the new laws are anti-farmer,” said Sisar. According to the farmer leader, farmers are upset with the new provision under which the farmer may be fined for Rs 1 crore and jail term of five years, if they indulge in stubble burning.

In Fatehabad, farmers have planned to block national highways at six places including at Jakhal, Ratia, Bhattu Kalan, Aharwan. They have plans to block the national highways at two places near Bhuna town.

Agitating farmers have announced they will hold a Lok Panchayat at Sirsa on November 16, where farmers are on a dharna for the past couple of days. They have plans to go to Delhi on tractors on November 26 to register their protest against the farm laws.

On the other hand, the ruling BJP has insisted repeatedly that the new farm laws are meant to welfare of farmers. BJP leaders even staged tractor marches to generate support for the new laws.

Chaduni calls farmers to reach to chakka jam spots on tractors

In a video message to farmers and other sections of society, Chaduni called them to join the chakka jam call at their neighbouring spots on Thursday. “Farmers are requested to move to the protest spots in their tractors without caring about the police barricades,” said Chaduni.

Ambulances and vehicles of military have been exempted from the jam call. Chaduni also urged the commuters not to take their vehicles to the roads from 12 noon to 4 pm on Thursday. The farmer leader asked farmers to maintain peace during the protests.

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