Farmers vacate stir site on Delhi-Agra highway

Hundreds of farmers, mostly from parts of Madhya Pradesh, vacated the sit-in site on Delhi-Agra highway at Palwal on Thursday after the police served them notices with regard to the violence on the Republic Day. The Palwal Police had on Wednesday registered case against 2,000-odd unidentified people on charges of attempt to murder, among others, under the Indian Penal Code.

Jaswant Singh, one of the farmers at the protest site, said they had decided to leave and return to their homes in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior for the time being, but vowed that they would return back in larger numbers. “Our numbers have dwindled over the past few days. So we have decided to leave for the time being. But we would return with greater strength,” said Mr. Singh. He said they were facing opposition from the locals as well after the violence on Republic Day.

Superintendent of Police, Palwal, Deepak Gahlawat said the protesters were threatened with legal action in connection with the violence and were told to leave following which they decided to vacate the premises. Deputy Commissioner Naresh Narwal confirmed that the site was vacated and the traffic on the highway resumed.

Around half-a-dozen separate groups of farmers from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were holding the sit-in at Palwal for almost two months now blocking the highway.

It is the second protest site to be vacated in Haryana over the past 24 hours. Earlier farmers holding a sit-in at Masani barrage in Rewari’s Dharuhera on Delhi-Jaipur Highway were forced to leave on Wednesday following opposition from the locals in the wake of the violence on the Republic Day in Delhi. Most of the agitating farmers went to the Shahjahanpur protest site at Haryana-Rajasthan border.

Khap meet convened

In a related development, Dadri MLA and Sangwan Khap president Sombir Sangwan has convened a meeting of Khap leaders from across Haryana at Rohtak on Friday to discuss the future course of action on the farmers agitation. Mr. Sangwan said the farmers were determined to take forward the agitation in support of their demands and a meeting has been called to discuss the strategy for it.

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