Despite Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij declaring that “there was nothing like any mission clean up” to remove farmers from dharna sites, farmer groups and khap panchayats have become active “to counter any such move in the near future”.
The leaders of as many as 19 khaps from Haryana’s Jind district Tuesday declared that they would strongly resist if such efforts were made in the state.
The khaps had called a panchayat at Khatkar toll plaza on Delhi-Jind-Patiala national highway near Jind on Tuesday. Declaring that the agitation against three farm laws is a battle for farmers’ survival, khap leaders said they will continue their struggle till “the black laws are not repealed”.
After the panchayat, Dhadan khap leader Azad Palwa, who is also district president of BKU, said, “The khap leaders have resolved to oppose any efforts aimed to remove protesters from dharna sites. The talks over removal of farmers in the name of corona pandemic are brought in the public domain just to break our agitation. But we can’t be removed from dharna sites till we are alive.”
“We fail to understand why the BJP leaders are allowed to hold rallies and other functions if there is any link to the public meetings and corona pandemic,” asked the farmer leader.
During Tuesday’s panchayat, which witnessed impressive gathering of women too, was attended by leaders of khaps including Kandela khap, Kheda khap, Dhadan khap, Binanain khap, Ujana khap, Chahal khap and Nandgarh Barah khap.
Amid talks of lockdown and restrictions imposed following spurt in the cases of Covid-19, an impression has gained ground among the agitators that “the corona may be used as an excuse to end their agitation”.
However, denying the possibility of any such “mission clean up”, Vij had recently insisted that the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had just stated that the farmers should end their dharnas during the pandemic suggesting they may return to the dharna sites later if they feel so.
In a series of tweets during the past four days, Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni has taken on the BJP over the issue.
“Corona doesn’t have any importance in the states where elections are to be held. Corona is a broker of BJP. This government is selling the country by (creating) fear of corona. Nobody from the farmer agitation fell ill because of this disease,” he tweeted Tuesday. “The government wants to crush this unprecedented people’s movement in the name of Covid-19 outbreak. Where is this virus in the poll-bound states where BJP leaders are addressing massive rallies which are being attended by thousands,” he wrote.
Earlier, Chaduni had also tweeted, “I call upon all farmers across India to leave for Delhi at once if the government takes any action on the farmers. They do not have enough bullets to kill the farmers of India. Let us not lose sight, the BJP government has been shaken to its core, and this is just another tactic by them to scare and malign the farmers.”
Farmer groups to oppose Dhankar, Brijendra Singh in Jind
According to Azad Palwa, the khaps and farmer groups have decided to oppose the proposed visit of BJP state president Om Prakash Dhankar and Hisar BJP MP Brijendra Singh to Jind on April 25 when they will go to the town to attend a function.
“We have already decided to boycott BJP-JJP leaders over the issue of three farm laws. We will submit a memorandum to Jind DC on Wednesday to express our resentment against the proposed visit of Dhankar and Brijendra Singh to Jind,” said Palwa. According to the khap leader, they have decided to visit the villages to urge the villagers to send at least one member from each of the families to join the farmer agitation. Meanwhile, the farmer organisations Tuesday staged protests at various places to express their resentment against the recently introduced law meant for recovery of damages to property from the agitators terming the same as an attempt to “supress the voice of agitator farmers”.
BJP Kisan Morcha to distribute masks among farmers
Haryana BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar said Tuesday that party’s Kisan Morcha will distribute sanitisers and masks to the farmers at the procurement centres. He also said the saffron party has opened corona medical help centres in all districts of the state which will be functional from 8 am to 10 pm. “With the help of these centres, anybody can seek information related to availability of beds, oxygen, ventilator and medicines in the hospitals of towns concerned. A state-level centre will be opened in Panchkula. Apart from this, the BJP workers have also planned to open “supply helpline” to provide essential commodities to the corona affected families,” Dhankar added.