Lucknow: In protest against the police baton charge on farmers in Haryana's Hisar on Sunday, a large number of farmers in Muzaffarnagar — the hometown of Rakesh Tikait – and adjoining districts, including Bulandshahr and Moradabad, held a protest under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Monday demanding a probe into the incident.
Raising slogans against the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party government, the protesting farmers in Muzaffarnagar blocked the road near Shiv Chauk while a group of peasants in Moradabad district demonstrated outside the police stations against police brutalities.
The BKU leaders held a meeting at the party office after giving a memorandum to the District Magistrate (DM), Muzaffarnagar. It was decided in the meeting that farmers from across Western Uttar Pradesh should reach the Ghazipur border since work of sugarcane sowing and chipping has been almost completed. Besides, the wheat crop has also reached home. On BKU’s call, the farmers have reportedly start moving toward the border while using face masks and hand sanitiser to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Terming the incident as “an act of cowardice”, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said the government has become so “intoxicated “by the power that it does not even care about the elderly, women and children. Every attack of the government will be answered, he said.
"It was unfortunate that even women and children were not spared during baton charge though they kept on pleading. History will remember the Khattar government for this cowardice. Now farmers' agitation will be intensified in other states as well," Tikait told NewsClick over phone.
The BKU leader also appealed to farmers and farm labourers from Uttar Pradesh to reach the Delhi borders in large numbers immediately against the Centre’s agriculture laws and, meanwhile also start a protest at every toll plaza in their respective district from Tuesday. He said the stir should continue till the government of India withdraws the three laws and guarantees the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops.
BULANDSHAHR-JEWAR ROAD BLOCKED
Angry over the ‘brutal lathicharge” on protesters, leaving several of them injured and also use of tear gas to disperse the farmers, scores of farmers blocked the Bulandshahr-Jewar road on Monday. They parked their tractors and other vehicles on the road against the government. They said they will not vacate the road until the government assures an inquiry.
Meanwhile, the Bulandshahr district administration is holding talks with protesting farmers to vacate the highway area but farmers were adamant on demand for repeal of farm laws and inquiry against policemen did baton charge.
Jagdish Pradhan, a farmer leader said: “Farmers are not afraid of this kind of brutal behaviour of the police and will continue their resistance to the Khattar government’s duplicities and anti-farmer attitude, adding that they will not vacate road until the Central government accepts their demands.
Another farmer leader told NewsClick that farmers will be reaching Ghazipur border in two-three days in a huge number and will not leave in solidarity with Haryana farmers.
Scores of farmers, including women, and children, sustained injuries in a clash during the visit of Haryana Chief Minister Khattar to Hisar on Sunday to inaugurate a hospital for COVID-19 patients. Police fired tear gas shells and used force to disperse the farmers who tried to march toward the venue in a peaceful manner.