Several farmer leaders alleged that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government had tried to stop farmers from attending Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's Kisan Mahapanchayat on Saturday.
Mahendra Singh, a farmer leader from Bhatta-Parsaul, said officials had threatened farmers with arrest if they attended the Mahapanchayat. He also expressed concern about another leader, Manveer Singh Tevatia, who was arrested in Delhi ahead of the farmers' panchayat in Aligarh.
Manoj Jain of Agra, who came to attend Gandhi's Mahapanchayat, told HT that the police tried to stop farmers from going towards Aligarh.Some of the farmers even alleged that the BSP government had deputed two of its senior ministers Jaiveer Singh and Ramveeer Upadhyay to pressurise district officials. Convener of the Pradesh Kisan Maha Sabha Mohammad Arshad claimed on the instructions of the two ministers, the district administration had attempted to disrupt Gandhi's rally.
Another farmer Kirpal Singh said on Friday evening the police had visited his village and threatened the farmers. Ameen Jain of Bullandshahar told HT that the district authorities had refused to issue permits for the 10 buses that had been arranged to ferry farmers to Aligarh to attend Gandhi's meeting.