A day after police in Haryana lathi-charged farmers protesting at the Gharaunda toll plaza in Karnal district, a farmers’ mahapanchayat in Nuh went ahead as scheduled.
Leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), under which many farmer groups have united to protest against the Centre’s three farm laws, and Bhartiya Kisan Union, including Dr Darshan Pal Singh and Rakesh Tikait, attended the meeting. Also present was Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav.
In a press briefing after the meeting, Dr Pal announced a Bharat Bandh on September 25 on the occasion of the 10-month anniversary of the protests.
He appealed to the South Haryana-Mewat farmers to be ready to block Delhi.
“SKM will soon give a call to completely surround Delhi. South Haryana is yet left to be covered, soon we might give a call,” Darshan Pal Singh said.
“We will announce ‘Mission UP’ on September 5 in Muzzaffarnagar mahapanchayat,” he added.
Yogendra Yadav said the Muzaffarnagar mahapanchayat “will be a test for all the farmers of the country”.
He requested Mewat farmers to reach Uttar Pradesh, saying all arrangements would be made.
BKU (Ugrahan) chief Joginder Singh Ugrahan said the Karnal lathi-charge “shows that the BJP government is rattled due to blockades/boycotts led by farmers across Haryana”.
CM Defends Police Action
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday defended the police action, saying assurances of a peaceful protest were given, but stones were hurled at cops and a highway was blocked.
Talking to reporters in Karnal, Khattar said the protesting farmers had earlier assured the government that their protests will be peaceful. “If they had to protest, they should have done so in a peaceful manner, no one would have any objection to that. They had earlier assured that they will hold peaceful protests. But if they hurl stones at police, block highway, then police will take steps to maintain law and order,” said Khattar.