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Kisan Andolan Update: Karnal Impasse Likely To End Today, Says SKM

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Farmers on strike

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Friday claimed that the third round of discussions with the Karnal district government over the August 28 police action against farmers ended on a "positive" note. They gave a hint that the impasse may be resolved by Saturday. 

Since November 2020, the SKM, a platform of farm unions, have been holding protests against government’s agricultural laws. 

What was addressed at the discussion, which lasted for more than four hours, was not disclosed by either the farmer leaders or government representatives. 

The farmers, on the other hand, said that most of their concerns over the police clashes last month had been resolved, with only two or three remaining for discussion in the next set of meetings on Saturday. 

Gurnam Singh Charuni, farmer leader said “The meeting was extremely encouraging, and we anticipate this problem to be resolved at the next meeting on Saturday at 9 a.m.”

Devender Singh, the Haryana additional chief secretary who presided over the meeting, also stated that the talks with farmers went well and that another meeting was scheduled for the weekend. 

Farmers have been holding an indefinite protest at the main entrance of Karnal's mini-secretariat since September 7 in protest of police intervention last month. 

Several protestors were lathicharged on their way to Karnal on August 28 to oppose a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gathering. The incident resulted in the injuries of around ten farmers. 

Soon later, a video surfaced showing IAS official Ayush Sinha reportedly instructing police officers to "break heads" of cultivators who broke the security cordon at the BJP meeting. 

The farmers have asked for the suspension and registration of an FIR against Sinha, who was then transferred out of Karnal and assigned to the Citizen Resources Information Department as an additional secretary (CRID). 

According to sources acquainted with the development, the government promised to take action against the IAS official at Friday's meeting. 

Farmers also demanded compensation of Rs.25 lakh and a government job for the family of farmer Sushil Kajal, who they claimed died as a result of police action, as well as financial assistance of Rs.2 lakh each for the injured farmers, as well as free treatment in government hospitals. 

Charuni said, the farmers will meet with other senior SKM leaders on Friday night, and all concerns will most likely be resolved during Saturday's meeting. 

After two failed meetings with protesters, the state government had sent Singh for talks with a 13-member farmer delegation led by Charuni on Friday.  On September 11, the SKM convened a meeting of all senior leaders in Karnal to declare a "big decision" if their demands were not fulfilled. 

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) spokesperson Rakesh Bains said, "Because the talks were good, the decision concerning SKM's meeting for further course of action will be taken on Saturday morning." 

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