After a recent clash between the farmers and Haryana Police at a gathering in Karnal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked the state government not to hold any pro-farm law events or similar outreach programmes until further notice, the state's Education Minister, Kanwar Pal Gujjar, told NDTV on Wednesday, 13 January.
In a recent incident, furious farmers clashed with the police at an event organised in a village near Karnal, where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was supposed to speak in support of the controversial laws. Post this event, Shah has reportedly advised against holding any such gatherings.
"The entire state saw how the farmers behaved on Sunday, when Chief Minister Khattar was scheduled to address a gathering. We don't want confrontation with farmers," Gujjar said.
The farmers were seen throwing chairs off the stage, tearing up posters and banners to show their intent of not listening to the Chief Minister. Khattar, who was supposed to arrive in a helicopter, had to return without landing.
Right before the event, farmers in huge numbers were stopped by the police at a nearby toll plaza where they had assembled. The police tried to stop them by using water cannons, tear gas and lathi charges but they somehow managed to break through the barricades and reached the event venue.
The CM told NDTV that he asked the chopper to return as he did not wish to worsen the situation at the venue. “Around 5,000 people were waiting for me to come and speak but it didn't happen,” he said.
Shah, too, appreciated the CM’s decision to not address the gathering, Gujjar told NDTV.
SC Stays Implementation of Farm Laws
Expressing its concern over “lives and property of people affected”, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the laws.
It also criticised the government’s inability to resolve an agitation that has been going on for several weeks.
The SC also formed a special committee to look into the grievances of the farmers. However, this panel includes people who have publicly backed the laws in the past. Citing the same reason, the farmers have refused to take part in any negotiations with the committee.
Farmers Demand Repeal of Laws, Continue Protests
Since 26 November, thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws at the borders of Delhi.
While the farmers have insisted on the repeal of the three laws passed in September, the Centre has not been willing to offer anything beyond amendments to the laws.
The government has posited the contentious laws as much-needed reforms in the agricultural sector that will give farmers more freedom to sell their produce. However, agitating farmers have argued that this will lead to the dismantling of the MSP system and prioritise corporate interests.
The Centre is scheduled to hold the ninth round of talks with farmer union leaders on 15 January. The farmers are also gearing up to take out a tractor rally to Delhi on Republic Day, 26 January .
(With inputs from NDTV.)