Protesting farmers confine BJP leaders inside temple in Rohtak

Chandigarh:┬áSome BJP leaders, including former Haryana minister Manish Grover, were held up inside a temple complex in Rohtak district’s Kiloi for hours on Friday as several villagers and farmers staged a protest outside.

According to a police official, the incident occurred when Grover along with the local BJP leaders reached the temple complex as part of their plan to watch from there the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiling a statue of Adi Shankaracharya at the seer’s rebuilt samadhi in Kedarnath.

The demonstrators allowed the leaders to leave the temple complex only in the evening after the district administration and police officials pacified them.

“The protest has ended and the BJP leaders have left the temple complex,” Rohtak’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Sajjan Singh said.

Earlier in the day, when the villagers and farmers came to know that the BJP leaders were at the temple complex, they cordoned the site preventing the BJP leaders from coming out.

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Some reports had claimed that the protesters were demanding that Grover should apologise to the farmers over some issue. Deputy Superintendent of Police Sajjan Singh said the opposition of demonstrators was to the presence of BJP leaders in Kiloi.

Senior officials of the district administration and police of Rohtak and some from neighbouring districts were at the site throughout the day to prevent escalation of the situation.

Farmers protesting the Centre’s three farm laws enacted last year have been opposing programmes of leaders of Haryana’s ruling BJP and Jannayak Janta Party.

Hundreds of farmers are encamped at Delhi borders since November last year demanding that the government repeal the three agri laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

They claim that these laws will leave them at the mercy of corporates. They are also demanding a new law to guarantee the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops. The Centre, which has held 11 rounds of talks with farmers to break the deadlock, has maintained that the new laws are pro-farmer.