Haryana: Farmers call off protest at Tohana police station

·3-min read

Tohana (Har), Jun 7 (PTI) Protesting farmers called off their sit-in at a police station here on Monday evening after initial reports of the third farmer activist arrested in connection with the protest against ruling JJP MLA Devender Singh Babli being released.

However, late at night the farmer leaders said the third person had not been released but their decision to call off the stir stands.

Earlier in the day, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) called off a plan to hold protests at every police station in Haryana following the release of two arrested farmers on bail but decided to continue protesting at the Sadar Police Station in Tohana city of Fatehabad district since a third activist was lodged there.

Officials confirmed that the farmers had dispersed from the police station after calling off their protest.

“They have left the site,” a police official said.

Senior SKM leaders including Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav and Gurnam Singh Chaduni had led the farmers’ protest outside the police station in Tohana.

Farmers Ravi Azad and Vikas Sisar, who were arrested for allegedly trying to gherao Babli's residence last week, were released on bail by the court.

SKM, the body spearheading the farmers' stir against the Centre's new farm laws, had in a statement said the third farmer -- Makhan Singh -- too was released by the administration and all their demands had been met.

“Makhan Singh, the third arrested person, has been released by the administration,” a statement issued by the SKM earlier said.

Yadav in a tweet in the evening had described the release of the trio as a major victory for the SKM.

“Major victory for Samyukta Kisan Morcha in Tohana, Haryana. All demands conceded: MLA Babli tendered an apology, and his associates withdrew their complaint. All 3 arrested farmer leaders were released. Cases against protesting farmers to be withdrawn,” Yadav had tweeted.

Hours later, however, he said Makhan Singh had not been released.

'The news about the release of farmer leader Makhan Singh is incorrect,” Yadav said in another tweet tagging his earlier post wherein he had said that all three farmers had been released.

Earlier, the farmer leaders had demanded that cases registered against several peasants in connection with the protest against Babli be taken back.

Meanwhile, Tikait said it has been decided that farmers will oppose BJP-JJP leaders and legislators attending government programmes where black flags will be shown to them, but they will not be bothered during their private events.

He also asked the farmers to be prepared for a long stir saying; the central government ultimately will have to roll back the farm laws.

“This agitation will continue till the three black farm laws are not rolled back,” Tikait, a Bharatiya Kisan Union leader, said addressing the farmers' gathering.

Speaking to reporters earlier in the day after coming out from jail, Azad said the farmers' agitation against agri laws has now become a “people's movement”.

“This is a fight for farmers' honour and the government will have to roll back the farm laws,” said Azad.

A large number of farmers led by Tikait had stayed put at the Sadar Police Station compound since Saturday.

An FIR was registered against a group of farmers for allegedly trying to gherao Babli's residence here on Wednesday night. Sisar and Azad were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The protesters had also sought the registration of a case against Babli for allegedly hurling abuses at them. The Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) MLA, however, had expressed regret over uttering 'inappropriate' words against farmers.

On June 1, Babli faced a protest by a group of farmers who showed him black flags and raised slogans. The MLA had alleged that some of the protesters resorted to unruly behaviour and smashed the windscreen of his car.

The farmers, however, had accused Babli of using abusive and threatening language against them. PTI SUN VSD RHL