Farmers on Sunday braved water cannons, baton-charging, and tear gas to reach the venue of a ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ in Kaimla village in Haryana’s Karnal district that was to be addressed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, leading to a tense situation.
Farmers protesting against the farm laws clashed with the police. Khattar’s helicopter couldn’t touch down at the Kaimla village as the protesters broke the helipad made for his landing, prompting the chief minister to cancel the mahapanchayat and return.
Protesting farmers in Haryana were against the CM’s visit and they moved towards Kaimla village from the Karnal toll plaza to stop the event, carrying black flags and shouting slogans against the BJP-led government.
They, however, were stopped by barricades erected by the Haryana police. They, however, breached the blockades prompting the cops to use water cannons and tear gas. Some protesting farmers said they were hit on their head by tear gas shells and they were finding it difficult to breathe.
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The police from surrounding districts, led by four SPs and more than 12 DSPs, were deployed at different entry points.
Facing resistance, the farmers attempted to enter the venue through the fields, prompting a face-off between the farmers and the baton-armed police in the fields. However, they finally made it to the stage set up for Khattar and broke it down.
They also reached the helipad and started digging it, preventing Khattar’s landing. The helicopter took a round over the helipad and returned to Karnal, while the police again used tear gas shells, which the farmers tried to defuse by pressing them in the soil.
In the face-off, the police pelted stones and bricks at the protesting farmers, besides lathi-charging and firing tear-gas shells at them.
Haryana police use Tear Gas against protesting farmers again ahead of @mlkhattar visit. This proves that the 'talks' initiated by the BJP govt are just a farce to kill time. The govt is still treating our Annadatas as criminals & has no intention of repealing the black laws!
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) January 10, 2021
Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed slammed the Haryana government saying that the action on the farmers “proves that the ‘talks’ initiated by the BJP government are just a farce to kill time.” “The government is still treating our annadatas as criminals and has no intention of repealing the black laws!” she said in a tweet.
On Friday, hundreds of farmers from across Karnal district had marched to Kaimla village to disrupt preparations for the event, but villagers organising the mahapanchayat had resisted them, leading to a faceoff between the two groups. The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) had on January 6 announced that it would oppose the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’.
In another incident, a confrontation took place between farmers and BJP cadre during a procession taken out by the latter for better law and order, in Punjab’s Jalandhar. The farmers broke police barricades set up to oppose the BJP’s protest amid a heavy police deployment in the area. Police then escorted the BJP workers away from the scene.