Farmers brave water canons, push past barricades in Haryana’s Jhajjar

The farmers were protesting against an event attended by Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala  

A screenshot of the clash between police personnel and protesting farmers at Jhajjar. Photo: Twitter

A day after agitating farmers clashed with police in Haryana’s Karnal, a similar face-off was witnessed in Jhajjar where the demonstrators had assembled to protest against an event attended by Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala.

Visuals of the day showed protesters marching towards the venue, even as security personnel let loose water cannons at them to thwart their progress. While police and paramilitary personnel tried stopping them, the protesters were seen pushing them and marching ahead. Some also showed police grabbing protesters by the collar and pushing them back.

“At a time when the farmers’ crops have been damaged due to rains, the Deputy Chief Minister is coming here, instead of meeting them,” ANI quoted a protester as saying.

On Thursday, farmers had gathered in hundreds in Karnal to protest against an event by the BJP. Visuals showed groups of protesters pushing past police barricades and clashing with police personnel while raising slogans against the BJP government.

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Also read: Situation ‘alarming’ as defiant farmers break barricades in Karnal

To avoid a recurrence of the incident, the police department had beefed up security on all routes to Chautala’s event’s venue, put barricades on roads and diverted routes.

However, when the situation went out of control, Deputy Commissioner of Police Shyam Lal Poonia reached the venue to placate the crowd.

“You can protest in a democratic way. We are also your kids and we are on government duty. Please don’t stop us from performing our duty. The event is by an organization working for the society. Please register your protest without disrupting the event,” he appealed to the protesters.

Poonia later told reporters that 15 people have been allowed to protest peacefully against Chautala’s programme. 

The farmers, who have been protesting at the borders of Delhi for close to a year now, demanding a repeal of the three agriculture laws introduced by the central government, have decided not to allow any event by the BJP or its leaders to take place in Haryana.

Around 10 people were injured last month when the police lathi-charged at protesters for blocking the highway while they were headed to Karnal to protest against a meeting called by the BJP.

Expressing disappointment over the chocking of national highways due to the frequent protests called by the farmers, the Supreme Court on Thursday had rapped the protesters for inconveniencing the public while turning down their plea to hold protests inside the city.

“You have strangulated the entire city, now you want to come inside the city. The residents around, are they happy with the protest? This business should stop,” a bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar told the farmers.

The bench was hearing a plea by the Kisan Mahapanchayat seeking permission to hold a ‘satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar. The group had prayed the court to direct authorities to provide space for at least 200 protesters at the site, which is situated in the heart of the city.

The top court also told the farmers that considering that they have already approached the court on the three farm laws, they should have trust in the judiciary and pursue the case.

“If you have faith in courts, pursue that for urgent hearing instead of protesting. Are you protesting against the judicial system also?” the court said.

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