On way to Haryana farmers’ protest at Pipli, Meham MLA Balraj Kundu arrested, later released
Balraj Kundu, the Independent MLA from Meham, was arrested for four hours on Thursday for violating prohibitory orders as he and his supporters were headed for Pipli grain market near Kurukshetra to take part in the farmers’ rally against the Centre’s agriculture ordinances.
Kundu, who was arrested at the Makrauli Kalan toll plaza only to be released hours later, said: “The police can’t stop farmers from raising their voice against these ordinances. I will stand by my farmer brothers and protest against the government until these ordinances are revoked. These bills are being brought to sell farmers’ rights to big corporates.”
Kundu, who left for Pipli with his supporters, condemned the lathicharge. “This government is against the farmers. If political leaders can canvass in the Baroda constituency (for the byelection) by defying the district administration’s orders (on social distancing), why are farmers not being allowed to hold a rally?” he said.
Tosham Congress MLA Kiran Choudhry also took on Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and state agriculture minister JP Dalal for preventing farmers from crossing toll plazas to reach Pipli.
“The implementation of these ordinances will lead to the exploitation of farmers at the hands of corporate houses. On one hand, the BJP-JJP leaders are canvassing in Baroda by defying the administration’s orders and putting people’s lives at risk, while on the other hand the government has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC to bar the entry of farmers at Pipli. This shows this government is afraid of farmers protesting,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dalal said that the government does not plan to end the minimum support price (MSP) for crops and urged farmers to follow the administration’s orders on social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.