New Delhi, Jan. 10, 2021 – Indian police, on Sunday, dispersed scores of protesting farmers, who stormed the venue and vandalised the stage, where Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was scheduled to address a group of farmers.
In his address, the Chief Minister was to highlight to the farmers the benefits of the three contentious farm laws.
The clashes, which broke out at Kaimla village, near Karnal district of the state, triggered chaos at the venue, forcing officials to cancel the chief minister’s visit.
“With the chaos, the chief minister’s visit to the village stands cancelled’’ a local government official said.
“The chief minister was scheduled to attend the gathering of farmers at the village and speak on the benefits of the three farm laws passed by the federal government in September 2020.’’
Police said scores of protesting farmers, defying police barricades, stormed the helipad and took control of the stage ahead of the visit. The farmers braved tear gas shelling and water cannons.
Reports said the protesters shouted slogans and threw down chairs besides tearing up posters, though authorities anticipating trouble had made adequate security arrangements ahead of the meeting.
Farmers were seen carrying black flags and shouting slogans against the government, demanding the repeal of three contentious farm laws.
Harayana is a Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state and Sunday’s interaction of the Haryana chief minister in the village, was part of the federal government’s outreach program to dispel misconceptions about the three farm laws.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting, for over a month in and around New Delhi, occupying roads and demanding the withdrawal of the three contentious farm laws.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been strongly defending the three laws, ever since the protests broke out in November.
So far eight rounds of talks between protesting farmers and the Indian government have failed to end the ongoing deadlock.
The protesting farmers have threatened to hold a rally on India’s Republic Day, which falls on Jan. 26, if their demands were not met. (Xinhua/NAN)