The situation in Sirsa continues to remain volatile on Saturday with thousands of protesters camping out in the streets after the first round of talks between the agitated farmers and the district administration failed.
Farmers protest against the FIR against 100 farmers and the subsequent arrest of five of their men for sedition and attempted murder for blasting the car of Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s vice president Ranbir Gangwa on July 11.
Sirsa Civil Lines SHO Ram Niwas police station told The Indian Express that a new FIR was filed on Wednesday over the complaint of ASI Prem Singh who was injured when agitators hit him with their tractor on the 11th. July.
– Punjab Express (@iepunjab) July 17, 2021
Saturday’s 90-minute interview was only started after protesters managed to break down police barricades and started marching towards the district administration headquarters. After talks failed, farmers blocked one of Sirsa’s busiest roundabouts – Prajapati Chowk – and the Sirsa-Barnala highway.
Sirsa Police Chief Dr Arpit Jain also showed video footage of the July 11 incident, but farm leaders refused to believe it, leading to the collapse of talks.
Prominent agricultural chief Rakesh Tikait said: “The police have no evidence. They sent their own men to create public order problems and want to put pressure on the farmers. We will be holding a morcha here in Sirsa as part of our ongoing struggle. “
Another leader said, “The district administration can say whatever it wants. In no case should they have imposed sedition charges on any of our members. The administration has proposed to form a special investigation team, but what will an SIT do? That does not make sense. They should withdraw the registered FIRs and release our brothers.
It was echoed by one protester, who said: “This is just a tactic by state governments to prevent us from marching to Parliament on July 22. They want to distract our attention by recording such bogus criminal cases against us. “
Meanwhile, security has been stepped up around the residences of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and ruling Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala in Sirsa.
Jain said, “We have made an adequate deployment. More than 10,000 personnel from all districts of Haryana, the Rapid Action Force and paramilitary forces have been deployed along with 30 checkpoints to ensure that no one disturbs public order and attempts to violate the law.
Jain added, “We are always ready to talk to the farmers. We also had a meeting with them (the farmers) on Friday, but there can only be legal solutions to legal matters, otherwise there is no point in holding talks.
Farmers started reaching Sirsa from Friday evening and more than 10,000 police were deployed to prevent them from reaching the Sirsa SP office, district police headquarters and ministers’ residences.
Reacting to the protest in Sirsa, State Interior Minister Anil Vij said: “A few days ago, the vehicle of the Deputy Speaker of the Haryana Assembly was attacked by the farmers, after which an FIR was registered against the accused. The law of this land is supreme and it does not operate by order of anyone nor is it influenced by dharnas and threats. The law operates at its own pace and such activities (protests / dharnas) have no effect on legal proceedings.
He added: “In addition to that, a warning has also been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the third wave of Covid-19 and the next 100 days are crucial. In such a situation, the decision to lift the restrictions was taken by the government, which is subject to review. We ordered all district magistrates to form a committee of civilian and police officers, keep an eye on the crowds, and ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are strictly followed. “
Earlier today, Tikait mocked Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Interior Minister Anil Vij and said: “The Chief Minister is wandering around Delhi so he can avoid confrontation with us here. . The Minister of the Interior is striving to become the chief minister. This is the situation of this government. They can continue to make their efforts but must not provoke us. Our fight is not with them [state government]. We will let them know if we fire our guns at them. We just want our farmers, who have been arrested, to be immediately released and the cases against them withdrawn. “
Addressing the farmers, Tikait said, “The state government should realize that it shouldn’t be getting into a fight with us. Our fight is with the Union government. The state government should realize that when the Union government has failed to push back the farmers, even they cannot. “
Making a comparison between farmers and soldiers, Tikait added: “The farmer, when he is at the border to fight for the honor of the country, is called a soldier. The same soldier, when he returns to his fields, drives his tractor. We will compare our tractors to tanks. These tanks (tractors) will break all the police barricades. The same soldier, when seated in front of a computer, knows how to use Twitter. So the state government should not underestimate us or incite us. We will set up pucca morchas and you should all have langar and stand firm. “