Haryana: Khaps Move to Resist Possible 'Forcible Removal' of Farmers from Protest Sites

As many as 19 khaps in Jind district have passed the preemptive resolution, saying their protest will not end until the three farm laws are repealed.

New Delhi: The leaders of as many as 19 khap panchayats in Haryana’s Jind district on Tuesday have preemptively resolved to oppose a possible move by the state government to forcibly remove farmers who are protesting against the Centre’s three agricultural laws.

This development comes even as the state’s home minister Anil Vij denying reports that the government was planning a “mission clean up” to remove farmers from dharna sites.

According to the Indian Express, the khaps had called a panchayat at Khatkar toll plaza on the Delhi-Jind-Patiala national highway on Tuesday, during which they reasserted their position that the protest will continue until the laws are repealed.

Speaking after the panchayat, Azad Palwa, who is the Dhadan khap leader and also the district president of BKU, told IE, “The khap leaders have resolved to oppose any efforts aimed to remove protesters from dharna sites.” He said that the BJP leaders are using the coronavirus pandemic to try and weaken the farmers’ protest. “We fail to understand why the BJP leaders are allowed to hold rallies and other functions if there is any link to the public meetings and corona pandemic,” he asked.

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by leaders of the Kandela khap, Kheda khap, Dhadan khap, Binanain khap, Ujana khap, Chahal khap and Nandgarh Barah khap, according to the newspaper.

Anil Vij had recently stated that Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar did not want farmers to be removed forcibly, suggesting instead that the protesters should pause their dharna due to the spurt in cases and “may return to the dharna sites later if they feel so”.

Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni took on BJP leaders on their apparent double stance, asking why the spurt in cases is not getting any importance in the states where elections are to be held.

“The government wants to crush this unprecedented people’s movement in the name of Covid-19 outbreak. Where is this virus in the poll-bound states where BJP leaders are addressing massive rallies which are being attended by thousands?” he wrote.

According to the Indian Express, the khap panchayats and farmer groups also decided on Tuesday to oppose the proposed visit of BJP state president Om Prakash Dhankar and Hisar BJP MP Brijendra Singh to Jind on April 25.

Azad Palwa, the Jind BKU president, told the newspaper that the unions have decided to request every family from villages in the district to send at least one member to join the agitation.