Farmers’ Protest: Farmers detained in Haryana released; meeting with the govt expected tomorrow
The farmers’ agitation, demanding compensation for the losses they faced during the recent floods, has shifted venue to the Nai Mandi at Ambala, 12 kilometres from the Shambhu Barrier on the Haryana-Punjab border where many of them were detained and their tractors impounded.
Brijendra Dubey 23 Aug 2023 10:43 AM GMT
At the Nai Mandi in Ambala, more than a hundred farmers after their long march there from several villages in Haryana, sat in a tin shed on durries spread out on the floor, as their leaders addressed them. A police bus with about 15-20 policemen in it stood at a distance. A few policemen sat on cots placed outside.
Till yesterday these farmers were sitting on a dharna on Hisar-Chandigarh highway near Ambala as they were not being allowed to travel to Chandigarh where a massive farmers’ rally was planned for August 22 by the farmers’ unions in Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
Farmers in these states have suffered heavy losses due to the large-scale floods in July this year destroying kharif crops over millions of hectares of area.
The farmers had resolved to march to Chandigarh to make a representation to the government about compensation for their losses due to the unprecedented floods that washed away their lands, property and cattle. But the rally could not happen due to police crackdown in Punjab and Haryana in the past two-three days where several farmers and their leaders were detained by the forces.
While most of the farmers in Haryana who were detained were released, their counterparts in Punjab have still not been let go. Despite requests by the government officials, the farmers have refused to call off their protest and announced that their agitation will continue till all the detained and arrested farmers in Punjab were released too.
Tomorrow, August 24, farmer leaders are also expected to have a meeting with the government to discuss the demands for compensation and the way forward.
Amarjeet Singh, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union — Shaheed Bhatag Singh was one of those who were detained by the Haryana police but he was released yesterday evening after several parleys with the police.
“We have to be compensated. Farmers in north India lost so much in the rains and floods. We wanted to have a peaceful negotiation with the government, but one of our own has lost his life in a police lathi charge while another farmer’s leg is seriously injured in a police chase,” Amarjeet Singh told Gaon Connection.
“We will not stop our agitation till each and every farmer is released,” the farmer leader added.
Also Read: Farmers’ Protest: Stopped From Travelling To Chandigarh, Protesting Farmers Start Marching To Ambala
The farmers seem prepared for the long haul. A few trucks pull up and unload mattresses and durries and some food, in case the farmers plan to stay at the mandi.
Tractors flying flags of the various kisan unions are parked around.
Dr Shaleen, deputy commissioner, Ambala met with the farmers yesterday evening and assured them that they will get to meet the senior government representatives where they can resolve their grievances.
But Suresh Koth, another senior farmer leader from Haryana, told the deputy commissioner that the protest will go on till all the detained farmers were released by the police.
The farmer leaders from the 16 Kisan Union sangathans are expected to have a meeting with the government tomorrow.
“Once the talks are over, depending on the outcome, we will decide what our next course of action will be,” Amardeep Singh said.