Heavy police deployment has been made around Karnal’s Kaimla village ahead of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s Kisan Mahapanchayat, aimed to drum up support for the three contentious agriculture laws that have triggered widespread protests in North India.
All the roads leading to the village have been blocked by the police with the help of trucks laden with construction material parked on the roads to avoid entry of farmers protesting against the laws.
Khattar has reportedly advanced his visit to the village to pre-afternoon.
Additional forces from the nearby districts have been called in and duty magistrates have been appointed to monitor the law and order situation in the district.
On the other hand, farmer union leaders, protesting against the laws, have also announced a meeting around 10 am at Karnal’s Bastara toll plaza on national highway 44, better known as Delhi-Chandigarh highway.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) activists have already decided to oppose the Kisan Mahapanchayat and will decide their further strategy after a meeting. The farmer leaders have distributed black flags to activists and they are likely to take out a protest march towards the Kaimla village, around 8km from the toll plaza.
Jagdeep Singh Aulakh, a local leader of BKU (Charuni), accused the chief minister and BJP leadership of attempting to divide farmers by holding such meetings.
“What is the logic of holding such meetings in the favour of agriculture laws when the farmers’ stir at Delhi borders (against the laws) has entered its 45th day,” he questioned.
“Even, the residents of the Kaimla village are against this programme and we are making efforts to ensure that the rally doesn’t take place but the protests will remain peaceful,” he added.
Karnal deputy commissioner Nishant Yadav has said that the union leaders have been told that strict action will be taken against them if they tried to disturb the programme. However, they are allowed to hold their protest peacefully at the Bastara toll plaza.