Karnal: Farmers to Continue Protest As Talks With District Officials Fail
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said the Karnal district administration officials were not ready to suspend Ayush Sinha.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday, 8 September, said farmers will continue to gherao Karnal's mini-secretariat until Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha is suspended and the family of the farmer, who had been injured during 28 August's protests and later died due to a heart attack, is compensated.
In a video that had gone viral on social media, SDM Sinha had ordered policemen to 'break the skulls' of the protesting farmers.
Talks between the farm leaders and the Karnal district administration officials had failed earlier in the day, with Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait saying the farmers will continue their sit-in protest at the Karnal mini-secretariat.
“Farmers stand determined to get justice for the murder of Shaheed Sushil Kajal. Unless, SDM Ayush Sinha is suspended and compensation is paid, the gherao will continue."Samyukt Kisan Morcha
"By refusing to even order an inquiry against murderous official Ayush Sinha, Khattar government is clearly demonstrating who actually gave orders of breaking farmers’ heads," the SKM further said in a press release.
The SKM said they will be organising a Kisan Sansad in Jaipur on 15 September and in Chhattisgarh on 28 September. On Tuesday, the farmers' leaders had called for a Bharat Bandh on 27 September.
Tikait said the district administration officials were not ready to suspend Sinha.
"Talks (with Karnal district admin) lasted for 3 hours but failed. Officers are not ready to suspend him (SDM Ayush Sinha) & lodge a case against him. The officers are getting directions from Chandigarh. So we have decided to continue our protest here," Tikait was quoted as saying by ANI.
"Farmers from UP, Punjab, & other places will join the protest here. Along with our protests in Delhi, this agitation will also continue until our demands are met. Our demand is that the officer is suspended."Rakesh Tikait, Bhartiya Kisan Union leader
Haryana Government Suspends Telecom Services
Earlier in the day, telecom services, including bulk SMS (other than banking and mobile recharge), had been temporarily suspended by the Government of Haryana amid the expectation that the farmers’ protest in Karnal will intensify.
As per the state government’s circular, the suspension will remain in place till 23:59 hrs (11:59 PM) on 8 September.
According to ANI, the state government said:
“Temporary suspension of telecom services including bulk SMS (excluding banking & mobile recharge) as a further intensification of protest is expected affecting law-order in Karnal in the wake of call for Kisan Mahapanchayat and further to continue their dharna.”
The government described the motive behind the suspension as “to stop the spread of misinformation and rumours through various social media platforms… on mobile and SMS, for facilitation and mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public and private properties by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities.”
More About the Protest
The farmers who held a march and gheraoed Karnal’s mini-secretariat on Tuesday, after the district administration refused to compensate injured protesters and take action against officials for lathi-charging farmers, continued to sit in protest on Wednesday. As per media reports, thousands of more farmers have arrived to join the dharna on Wednesday morning.
According to Hindustan Times, several farmer leaders and prominent figures, including Rakesh Tikait, Gurnam Singh Charuni, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Yogender Yadav, Darshan Pal and Joginder Ugrahan also joined the Karnal protest on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, the controversial farmers' activist, Lakha Sidhana, is also believed to have reached Karnal late night.
A ‘langar’ was organised for farmers protesting outside the mini-secretariat on Tuesday night, as per ANI.
Protesters Demand Action Against Ex-SDM Ayush Sinha
Protesters have demanded action against Karnal's former Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha who was, on 28 August, caught on video issuing instructions to the police to ‘crack open’ the heads of protesting farmers.
According to ANI, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday morning said:
"The administration has tried to give an explanation of SDM's earlier action. We will hold a meeting with farmers to make a decision on our further actions."
(With inputs from ANI and Hindustan Times)
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