Farmers vandalise Karnal venue ahead of Khattar's arrival
New Delhi, January 10, 2021
Hundreds of protesting farmers indulged in vandalism at a z'Kisan Mahapanchayatz' event near here on Sunday, just ahead of the arrival of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, forcing authorities to cancel the event.
As the farmers barged into the event venue, they broke through the bamboo barricades put up in front of the stage for security purposes, smashed flower pots, tables and chairs put up on stage and nearby area. They also tore the banners put up at the venue. As the damaged furniture lay strewn, police preferred to remain a mute spectator.
Before ransacking the meeting venue, the sloganeering farmers carrying black flags thronged a temporary helipad in nearby Kaimla village, where Khattar was scheduled to land, and damaged it. The agitating farmers broke six checkpoints set up by police to reach the helipad.
Earlier, tension prevailed in Khattar's home constituency as police fired tear-gas shells and baton-charged the farmers headed towards the meeting venue to oppose the holding of the "Kisan Mahapanchayat", through which the BJP-led government aimed to highlight the "benefits" of the three central farm laws.
The farmers broke through the barricades despite use of force by police to disperse them.
A strong police contingent led by four Superintendents of Police and more than a dozen Deputy Superintendents of Police were deployed at different entry points to the venue to prevent the farmers from barging in.
At the "Kisan Mahapanchayat" venue, over 2,000 farmers were present apart from a large number of officials and Cabinet Ministers when the protesters barged in and vandalised the venue.
The Ministers were later escorted by police to safety as chaos prevailed at the venue. The protesters left after vandalising the venue, with police preferring not to intervene.
The farmers associated with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) have accused the Chief Minister of attempting to divide the farmers by holding such meetings.
"What was the need to hold a 'mahapanchayat' when thousands of farmers have been sitting on the Delhi borders for the past 45 days to demand repeal of the three farm laws?" a protesting farmer asked.
Leaders of the BJP and alliance partner JJP have been facing protests for the last many weeks in Haryana. Recently, Khattar's cavalcade was confronted by protesting farmers in Ambala.