Farmers say Karnal deadlock could end after ‘positive talks’

Farmers say Karnal deadlock could end after ‘positive talks’

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Friday that the third round of talks with the Karnal District Administration on August 28 police action against farmers ended on a “positive” note and left hear that the current stalemate could end on Saturday.

SKM is a platform of agricultural unions leading protests against farm laws since November last year.

Neither farmer leaders nor government officials revealed what was discussed during the meeting, which lasted more than four hours.

The farmers, however, said most of their problems with clashes with police last month had been resolved and only two or three remained for discussion at the next meeting on Saturday.

“The meeting was very positive and we expect this issue to be resolved at the next meeting at 9 am on Saturday,” said farmer chief Gurnam Singh Charuni.

Haryana’s additional chief secretary, Devender Singh, who chaired the meeting, also said discussions with the farmers were positive and another meeting was scheduled for the weekend.

This development comes at a time when farmers have been organizing an unrestricted protest at the main entrance to the Karnal mini-secretariat since September 7 against police action last month.

Several protesters were charged as they walked towards Karnal to protest a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on August 28. Around ten farmers were injured in the incident.

Shortly afterwards, a video surfaced in which IAS officer Ayush Sinha allegedly asked police to “smash the heads” of farmers if they breached the security cordon during the BJP meeting.

Among other issues, the farmers requested the suspension and registration of an FIR against Sinha, who was then transferred out of Karnal and assigned as additional secretary of the Citizen Resources Information Department (CRID).

At Friday’s meeting, the government assured to take action against the IAS agent, according to people familiar with the development.

Farmers also demanded compensation ??25 lakh and a government job to the family of farmer Sushil Kajal, who they say died due to police action and financial aid from ??2 lakh each to injured farmers in addition to free treatment in public hospitals.

Charuni said the farmers will hold a discussion with other senior SKM leaders on Friday evening and all issues will likely be sorted out at the meeting on Saturday.

After two failed meetings with protesters, the state government sent Singh for talks with a 13-member farmer delegation led by Charuni on Friday.

The SKM had called a meeting of all top leaders in Karnal on September 11 to announce a “big decision” if their demands were not met.

“As the talks were positive, the decision on the SKM meeting for further action will be taken on Saturday morning,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) spokesman Rakesh Bains said.


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