Ahead of kisan mahapanchayat, security beefed up, barricades in place in Karnal
Hundreds of jawans of paramilitary forces and policemen from different districts of Haryana have been deputed to Karnal as chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s constituency emerges as the new epicentre of the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
A kisan mahapanchayat of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) at Karnal’s grain market is due to be held Tuesday. The farmers have also decided to gherao the Karnal mini secretariat to protest the lathicharge against them on August 28.
By deputing 40 companies of paramilitary forces, diverting traffic and barricading every nook and corner of Karnal, the administration has given the farmers to understand that they will not be allowed to gherao the mini secretariat.
Paramilitary jawans gathered in Karnal over the past 24 hours, and the administration deployed officials of different departments to monitor the barricading of Karnal grain market where the farmers are scheduled to hold a meeting at 10am.
As per the officials monitoring the security arrangements, the administration will not allow the farmers to gherao the mini secretariat, which is around 5km away from the grain market. SKM leaders have said that they will break barricades on their way to the mini secretariat if the police try to stop them.
However, movement of traffic on NH-44 remained normal in the morning. Police deployed at important locations in Karnal is not stopping the movement of farmers.
Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni said that the police opened all the barricades in the morning and farmers were allowed to reach the grain market in Karnal.
Farmers to gather in groups
SKM leaders have asked farmers to gather in groups and requested those in nearby districts to bring their tractor- trolleys. “We request the farmers to come in groups, avoid any confrontation with the police, and cross the barricades peacefully. Even if the police beat you, don’t react,” said Charuni to farmers.
There are reports that thousands of farmers will also come from Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi, as senior leaders from SKM are likely to attend this meeting, to call for the action against Karnal sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha, who allegedly directed the police to hit farmers on the head if they crossed the barricades on August 28.
Trucks to be used as barricades
Barricades from the nearby districts have also been brought to Karnal to barricade the Karnal mini secretariat.
The Karnal district administration has also parked trucks carrying construction materials along highways to use them as barricades to stop the movement of farmers from Karnal grain market to mini secretariat.
“We were told to park the truck near the grain market around 12pm on Monday and the cops also took the keys of my truck after I parked it near the main entrance. We were told not leave the truck despite not having anything to eat,” said a truck driver Mohammad Tanvir, who was transporting construction material from Yamunanagar to Shamli of Uttar Pradesh.
However, they have not been used to barricade areas until now
People slam Internet suspension
Haryana government’s move to suspend Internet services in five districts has evoked severe criticism from people. The government clarified that the step was taken to prevent disturbance of peace and public order but people termed the move as a diktat. “District administration Karnal announces suspension of internet services from 12.30 am on 7th Sept to black out #FarmersProtest #InternetBlackoutByBJP”, wrote Kisan Ekta Morcha on Twitter.
The farmer leaders alleged that the move to suspend Internet services was taken to avoid communication and sharing of videos by farmers on social media. Kurukshetra University had to postpone exams scheduled on September 7 due to the suspension of Internet.