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Haryana CM Khattar Holds BKU Leader Responsible For Vandalism At Karnal Mahapanchayat

After being unable to attend the Kisan Mahapanchayat, Haryana CM ML Khattar, on Sunday, lashed out BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni for instigating farmers

After being unable to attend the Kisan Mahapanchayat, Haryana CM ML Khattar, on Sunday, lashed out Bharat Kisan Union (BKU) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni alleging that he had tried to instigate the farmers, leading to clashes between farmers and police in Haryana's Karnal. Khattar said that Congress and Communist parties had hijacked the protests, stating that farmers had been defamed by them. Currently, eight rounds of talks between the Centre and farmers have not resulted in a breakthrough, with farmers insisting on total repeal of the Farm Laws.

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Khattar on violence: 'BKU chief responsible'

"If I have to hold someone responsible for this, then a video of Gurnam Singh Chaduni (Bharatiya Kisan Union chief) has been circulating since the day before yesterday wherein he had tried to instigate people. Today's incident gave a message to people, bigger than what I'd intended to give. These people have defamed the farmers because a farmer doesn't have such nature. A farmer can be less educated or simple but he's sensible," said Khattar.

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Maintaining that people had the right to protest, he said that his administration had allowed the farmers to continue their protest inspite of COVID-19 spread. He added, "The administration had spoken to their (protesting farmers) people yesterday. They had agreed to hold a symbolic protest but no agitation. Trusting them, the admin had made all preparations. Over 5000 people were present at the event today, but some youth failed to keep their promise."

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Karnal cops clash with farmers

Earlier in the day, Khattar cancelled his Kisan Mahapanchayat programme in Karnal after farmers vandalised the venue - uprooting tent, breaking the stage, tearing down posters and flinging chairs. The farmers also attempted to enter the helipad where Khattar was to land but were stopped by 1500 police officers deployed there. The police resorted to lathi-charging, using tear gas and water cannon to disperse the farmers, who then proceeded to the venue and clashed with 2000 BJP supporters as they vanadlised the venue. BJP and JJP leaders have faced angry protests by farmers outside their residences. 

On 7 January, addressing the protesting farmers via Facebook, BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni told farmers to protest strongly against the Mahapanchayat saying, "Stage such a big protest there (at Karnal) that he cannot hold the Mahapanchayat there. To prepare for it all my Karnal and Panipat brothers and sisters must assemble at Gharaunda toll plaza and follow the instructions of our committee members. This BJP government is calling us for talks on one side and holding Kisan Panchayats on the other side, which is an attempt to fool us. We must oppose this strongly." Farmers continue to stage their protests outside Delhi borders for the 46th consecutive day.

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