BKU state chief asks farmers protesting farm laws to block all major highways; police action to prevent protesters from heading to BJP meeting venue
UPDATED ON AUG 28, 2021 03:45 PM IST
Several highways across Haryana were blocked after at least five farmers were injured in police lathicharge when they tried to disrupt traffic on National Highway number 44 and enter Karnal town from Bastara toll plaza to disrupt a state-level BJP meeting on Saturday.
The agitators had threatened to disrupt the BJP meeting in protest against the Centre’s farm laws after which police presence was stepped up in Karnal district to maintain law and order.
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Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Haryana unit leader Gurnam Singh Charuni called for blocking all highways in the state to protest the lathicharge on farmers. “We slam the BJP government for using police force on farmers once again. I request all farmers to come out and block all highways in the state,” Charuni said.
Reports of traffic disruption were received from Hisar, Jind, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Dadri, Fatehabad and Ambala. The Milk Majra toll plaza connecting Ambala with Yamunanagar and further with Uttar Pradesh was blocked, while traffic was disrupted on Shambu border at Patiala in Punjab, too.
Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda condemned the lathicharge and tweeted: “The action on farmers at Karnal is undemocratic and inhuman. Everyone has the right to protest in a democracy. Governments are not run with fear of the bullet but by winning hearts.”
The Karnal police had blocked all roads leading to Gurdwara Dera Kar Sewa, where the protesters were to meet and head for the venue of the BJP’s meeting, attended by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his cabinet ministers besides MPs and MLAs. The meeting was convened to discuss the holding of panchayat elections in the state.
The protesters gathered at Bastara toll plaza on National Highway 44 instead and tried to block traffic when the police resorted to lathi charge to clear the route. Farmer leader Jagdip Singh Aulakh alleged that several farmers got injured in the police action.
Commuters and residents of Karnal and other towns had to face inconvenience as the key roads were blocked.
With inputs from HTC, Rohtak and Ambala