Around two dozen farmer leaders were taken into preventive custody by the Haryana Police on Tuesday early morning in raids across the State, ahead of the farmers groups’ two-day call for “Dilli Chalo” on November 26 and 27 to protest against the farm laws. The arrests sparked off protests in many parts of the State with various farmers’ and workers’ unions condemning the action as “undemocratic”.
In a post-midnight clampdown in several districts, including Jhajjar, Hisar, Sirsa, Karnal and Bhiwani, police teams mounted raids at the houses of farmer leaders and took them in preventive custody. Jhajjar Superintendent of Police Rajesh Duggal told The Hindu that nine farmer leaders were arrested and sent to judicial custody.
Swaraj India national president Yogendra Yadav, in a press conference during the day, claimed that at least 31 farmer leaders were detained in raids across the State in the early hours. He said the farmers were committed to peaceful and disciplined demonstration against the farm laws, but the Haryana government seemed bent on creating anarchy by arresting the movement’s leadership. He said the government was nervous and resorting to crackdown to suppress the “historic movement”.
Mr. Yadav said farmers groups were committed to their call for “Dilli Chalo” and made an appeal to all citizens, citizen groups and political and democratic outfits to raise their voice against the crackdown.
More than 500 farmers groups across the country have given the call to march to Delhi on November 26 and 27 to hold a protest against the farm laws at Jantar Mantar. Mr. Yadav said that farmers from five States – Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand – were scheduled to gather at five points on November 26 morning and march towards Delhi. “Four of these assembly points are in Haryana at Sampla, Panchgaon, Sector 12 Faridabad and Kundli border,” said Mr. Yadav. He added that delegations from 15 more States were expected to join the protest.
Later, angry protesters assembled at Rohtak’s Mansarovar park and took out a protest march to mini secretariat in protest against the arrests of the farmer leaders. Kisan Sabha vice president Inderjit Singh criticised the BJP-JJP alliance government.