Farmers protesting near BJP leader's residence in Haryana's Rohtak end stir

·3-min read

Chandigarh, Jul 18 (PTI) Farmers in Haryana's Rohtak, who were protesting near the residence of BJP leader Manish Grover over alleged misbehaviour with women protesters, ended their agitation on Sunday after talks with party leaders.

Last week when farmers were protesting outside Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology in Hisar against the Centre’s three farm laws, they alleged that a person seated in the SUV in which BJP's Hansi MLA Vinod Bhayana and Grover were travelling made obscene gestures towards the women protesters.

However, Grover had denied the allegations of any misbehaviour.

On Sunday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body which is spearheading the ongoing farmers' stir against the three farm laws, said the protest near Grover's house concluded after a meeting with BJP leaders and protesting farmers.

'This meeting was organised at the initiative of some distinguished local mediators and administration. This paved way for a rapprochement. The former minister talked to the enraged women protesters,” the SKM said in a statement.

'After listening to their version that they did not exactly recognise the person sitting close to Bhayana, the former minister touched the feet of women and sought their blessings. The aggrieved women expressed their satisfaction over the deliberations and outcome. With this, the protest at his house has ended,' it added.

A mahila mahapanchayat, which was earlier planned in Rohtak for July 19 over the alleged incident, now stands cancelled, the SKM said.

Speaking to reporters, Grover said false charges were levelled against him and even the people of Rohtak did not support the protesters.

Talking about his meeting with the women protesters, he said, 'They all were elderly and were like my mother. I touched their feet,' he said.

Meanwhile, the stalemate continues in Sirsa where farmers are demanding the release of five protesters who were arrested following an attack on Haryana Assembly Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa's car on July 11.

Police had booked over 100 people, mostly unidentified, for sedition, obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty, murderous attempt on an elected representative and damaging public property.

Five farmers among over 100 were arrested for allegedly attacking the BJP leader's vehicle.

The deadlock continues in Sirsa after the first round of talks between protesters and the district administration failed.

The SKM said a senior farmer leader has also gone on a fast-unto-death over the issue.

It demanded immediate release of the five farmers and withdrawal of all cases.

The farmers' body claimed that the administration has so far not been able to show any video or other proof that the farmers indulged in violence on July 11.

After talks with the administration failed on Saturday, SKM leaders issued an ultimatum to the district administration.

'A deadline of 12 noon on July 18 was given, failing which an indefinite hunger fast by Baldev Singh Sirsa was to be initiated until the administration agreed to the demands. Now, the fast-unto-death has started,” the SKM said in the statement.

'It is clear that the Haryana government is resorting to cheap tactics of slapping charges like sedition on protesting farmers as a desperate measure,” it added. PTI SUN VSD SNE SNE

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