Karnal Kisan Mahapanchayat: Farmers march toward mini-secretariat as talks fail
Talks between 11 farmer leaders and the Karnal administration remained inconclusive on Tuesday, farmer leaders said. The leaders had met the administration after protesting farmers were denied permission to lead a march to the district headquarters. However, as the talks failed, the farmers led a rally to Karnal's mini-secretariat in protest against police excess on protesting farmers on August 28. Here are more details.
Farmers proceed with march; vow non-violence
After the talks failed, the farmers decided to continue with their march regardless. The route is blocked by security agencies deployed to stop the rally, likely leading to another violent clash. Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said the protesters will not break any barricades or disrupt the law. If the cops try to stop them, they will welcome arrest, he said.
Yogendra Yadav, Rakesh Tikait briefly detained
Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav said on Twitter that the Haryana Police had detained him, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Rakesh Tikait, and several other farmer leaders from Namaste Chowk. Shortly thereafter, he tweeted saying that they had been released.
Security beefed up in Karnal; mobile internet shut
Anticipating a face-off with the protesting farmers, district officials have deployed 40 companies, including 10 from the Central Armed Police Forces, with several being stationed around the grain market in Karnal. The farmers trying to travel from neighboring districts have reportedly been stopped. Mobile internet and SMS services have notably been suspended in Karnal and four other districts.
What happened on August 28?
To recall, farmers protesting against farm laws have been opposing public functions of the BJP-JJP government in Haryana. On August 28, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and other top BJP leaders were supposed to attend a party meeting in Karnal. However, when the farmers had gathered to protest against the meeting, police started to baton charge the protesting farmers severely injuring many protesters.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha called for today's protest
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which has been leading the farmers' protests against the Centre's farm laws, gave the call for Tuesday's protests, demanding an FIR against officials who ordered the baton charge on August 28. Separately, Karnal Deputy Commissioner has asked for one month's time to investigate whether SDM Ayush Sinha's call to "break (the farmers') heads" led to the August 28 police excess.
Karnal Mahapanchayat to seek justice for Sushil Kajla: Tikait
Meanwhile, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait had earlier said that the Karnal Mahapanchayat and the protest march was "to seek justice" for Sushil Kajla, who, farmers say, died as a result of injuries suffered on August 28. However, the police claim Kajla died of cardiac arrest.
Earlier, farmers had held massive Mahapanchayat in UP
The Karnal Mahapanchayat comes days after another Mahapanchayat of farmers was held in Muzaffarnagar in UP. Reiterating their demand to repeal the three farm laws passed by the Centre, the farmers vowed to continue their protest on Sunday's Mahapanchayat. The SKM, which organized the Mahapachayat, also issued a call for a "Bharat Bandh" or general strike on September 27.