‘We do not want confrontation, but … ‘: Haryana CM’s message to protesting farmers | India News

NEW DELHI: Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday warned the protesting farmers against “crossing limits” over the alleged targeting of leaders of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP) and the Jannayak Janta Party(JJP) in the state.
“We have always exercised restraint as they (protesters) are our own people … we do not want confrontation. When they say some things, we tolerate it as they are our own people. But exceeding it beyond a limit is not in anyone’s interest,” Khattar said.
“I condemn their undemocratic way of work. We are exercising restraint. And what are they (those spearheading the stir) saying that the ministers, MLAs, chief minister, deputy CM cannot go to attend public functions. After all it is the responsibility of those running the government to go among the people and listen to them,” the CM said.
The chief minister claimed that only a “handful of people” were opposing the farm laws while the “common farmers are happy”.
“Those spearheading the agitation are in reality not farmers. Real farmers have no objection with the farm laws, they are happy,” he said and alleged that those opposing the farm laws are only doing so due to political reasons.
Khattar urged the protesting farmer unions not to remain adamant on repeal of the new central farm laws and said making it a precondition for talks with the government does not serve any purpose.
“The farmer unions are adamant on only one thing – repeal of the farm laws – without being able to pinpoint any shortcomings in the laws. It does not serve any purpose if they remain adamant on just one thing and making it a precondition for talks with the government,” he said.
Khattar said the word “kisan” (farmer) is a sacred one, but some incidents like the alleged sexual exploitation of a woman from West Bengal at the Tikri border last month have “prompted people to raise questions”.
“What I feel is that Kisan word is a very pious word. Everyone, including me, the government, common people, believe those leading this agitation have faith and respect towards farmers. But the sad part which has come out of this agitation is that some incidents have happened prompting people to raise questions,” he said in an apparent reference to the sexual exploitation incident at Tikri border.
The Haryana Police had last month launched a probe into allegations by the father of the victim woman, who died after showing Covid-like symptoms, at a hospital in Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district, that she had been raped by two men she had accompanied to the farmers protest site at Tikri border.
The CM also referred to the death of a 42-year-old man whose family members alleged that he was set on fire by four people in Bahadurgarh.
According to the complaint lodged by the victim’s brother, the four men were part of the ongoing farmers agitation at the Tikri border near Delhi.
“There has been sexual assault, murder, and also disputes with local people about roads being blocked for which even panchayats have been held,” Khattar said.
Clashes at Delhi-UP border
Earlier today, BJP workers and farm law protesters clashed in Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.
The ruckus took place when the BJP workers were carrying out a procession on a flyway where the farm law protesters, chiefly supporters of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, have been camping since November 2020, according to eye-witnesses.
As the two sides came near each other on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway around 12 pm, a scuffle broke out and they fought with sticks which led to some injuries, they said.
Videos and pictures surfaced on social media, purportedly showing some damaged vehicles which were part of a cavalcade of a BJP politician, Amit Valmiki, for whose welcome the procession was being held.
Farmer leaders, however, alleged that the episode was another “conspiracy by the government” to quell the protest against the three contentious farm laws and give it a bad name.
(With inputs from PTI)

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