‘Inappropriate incidents’: Khattar meets Amit Shah, hints action at farm protest sites

While he did not elaborate on the incidents, sources said, the Haryana CM was likely referring to the alleged gangrape of a 26-year-old woman from West Bengal, who was participating in the farmers’ protest at Tikri border, and who died of Covid-19 on April 30.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Thursday hinted at a crackdown on elements indulging in “inappropriate incidents, especially against women” during the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

Khattar, who met Amit Shah in Delhi and apprised him about the increasing “inappropriate incidents” amid the protests, said “the Union Home Minister has also assured action in this regard”.

“There is no objection if the farmers’ movement goes on peacefully. But the inappropriate incidents, especially against women, are very worrying. These incidents are being opposed locally as well. Haryana Government will not allow law and order to deteriorate under any circumstances. The Union Home Minister has also assured action in this regard,” Khattar told media persons in Delhi.

While he did not elaborate on the incidents, sources said, Khattar was likely referring to the alleged gangrape of a 26-year-old woman from West Bengal, who was participating in the farmers’ protest at Tikri border, and who died of Covid-19 on April 30.

According to Haryana Police, the woman had come to the protest site in April with six people from the Kisan Social Army, including two women, whom she had met in Bengal. Her father had alleged that the woman told him that she had been harassed and raped after she left for Tikri. “In the train, one of the accused grabbed her hand and forcefully kissed her. After she came to Tikri, she was staying in the tent of the Kisan Social Army, where two of the men who had accompanied her raped her,” he had alleged.

On Thursday, a 40-year-old man from Haryana’s Jhajjar district succumbed to burn injuries in the wee hours and his relatives alleged that he was set on fire by four men who are part of the farmers’ protest at the Tikri border.

In a statement issued late on Thursday, the state government said that Khattar met Shah in New Delhi “and discussed the farmers’ movement in Haryana and apprised him about the incidents”.

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, who too was in Delhi and met BJP president JP Nadda, said, “A farmer was burnt alive after pouring petrol on him. We have registered an FIR on charges of murder and further investigating the matter. Whatever legal action it merits, shall be taken in the case”.

Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni, meanwhile, termed Khattar’s statements as “absurd”. In a video statement, he said what bigger proof can be there that the agitation is going on peacefully for the last over seven months “despite 500 of our brothers losing their lives”. He said only two days ago, a farmer committed suicide at protest site in Jind. Yet, the agitation carried on peacefully.

“Despite all this, we are being accused of unethical and illegal activities. We want to ask Khattar Sahab has all crimes stopped in rest of Haryana? Have cases of harassment stopped? Rather, it all have been increasing ever since your government has come to power. Khattar Sahab should introspect,” he said.

The BKU leader said farmers are not protesting against the country. “We are citizens of this country and you are elected representatives. Over 500 farmers have sacrificed their lives only to stop the manner in which BJP is wanting to sell this country to a few corporates. You are sending your people to rub salt on our wounds. You are provoking us repeatedly,” he alleged.

Khattar and Vij met the party central leadership on the day the BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana completed 600 days in office.

Khattar had last met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some Union Cabinet ministers on June 1. At that time, the state government press release had mentioned that “PM has expressed satisfaction over comprehensive arrangements made by the Haryana government in the state for the control of Covid-19”.

Prior to that, Khattar had also met Shah and Nadda in mid-May and apprised them about the ongoing farmers’ agitation on Delhi’s borders and the immense opposition that Haryana’s ruling alliance leaders are facing from farmers across the state.

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