Farmers from Karnataka among those detained in Madhya Pradesh ahead of protest | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Farmers from Karnataka among those detained in Madhya Pradesh ahead of protest

Feb 12, 2024 04:31 PM IST

A Madhya Pradesh Police officer said the farmers from Karnataka were detained at the Bhopal railway station based on intelligence inputs regarding the protest in Delhi

Farmers from Karnataka’s Hubballi on their way to Delhi were among those detained in Madhya Pradesh ahead of a scheduled protest of cultivators on Tuesday even as police have intensified security in the national capital and imposed curbs on gatherings at the city’s borders.

Barricades put up ahead of the Delhi protest call. (HT PHOTO)
Barricades put up ahead of the Delhi protest call. (HT PHOTO)

Police have put up additional pickets, barricades, roadblocks, and other temporary and semi-permanent structures around Delhi’s borders with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in Tikri, Singhu, and Ghazipur.

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A Madhya Pradesh Police officer said the farmers from Karnataka were detained at the Bhopal railway station on Sunday night based on intelligence inputs regarding the protest in Delhi.

In a message sent on WhatsApp, Madhya Pradesh farmer leader Anil Yadav said he was sent to jail on Sunday night and that the police had taken another farmer leader to some unknown place.

Bhopal deputy police commissioner Awadesh Goswami maintained no arrests have been made so far and that police have made detentions as gatherings in Delhi have been barred to maintain law and order. “They cannot be allowed to go there.”

Guru Karan Singh, the police superintendent of Madhya Pradesh’s Narmadapuram, said a sub-divisional magistrate sent farmer leaders Shivraj Rajoria, Mahesh Upadhyay, and Sachin Sharma to jail. “Police received inputs that the three leaders were going to Delhi to participate in the protest so they have been arrested under Section 151 [disturbance of peace] of the Indian Penal Code,” he said.

Farmer leaders were also detained in Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Chhindwara.

Karnataka chief minister Siddramaiah on Monday condemned the action against farmer leaders in Madhya Pradesh. In a post on social media platform X, he said, “The arrest of Hubballi farmers by the Madhya Pradesh government, as they were heading to a protest in Delhi tomorrow, is highly condemnable.”

He asked the Madhya Pradesh government to immediately release all the farmers from his state and allow them to participate in the protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. “Although the government of Madhya Pradesh has made the arrests, it is clear that the criminal brain behind this act is the central BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Siddaramaiah said the BJP always targets farmers. “Whether it is at the Centre or in the states, whenever BJP comes to power, history bears witness that their first act of aggression is against the farmers. The first time BJP came to power in Karnataka, farmers asking for fertilizer were ruthlessly shot down by the government led by BS Yediyurappa. Several farmers died due to the violence inflicted on protesting farmers in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh by Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre. Looking at the current actions of Narendra Modi’s government, it seems their main aim is to intimidate the farmers into submission.”

Farmers have been demanding a law guaranteeing minimum support prices for their produce since cultivators held one of the biggest demonstrations in decades and prompted the government to repeal three agricultural reform laws enacted in September 2020.

Tens of thousands of farmers opposing the laws hunkered down on highways across several states for nearly 14 months. They virtually set up protest townships at five sites including Ghazipur, Singhu, and Tikri, and choked traffic, rejecting the government’s insistence that the laws would benefit them by giving them greater access to markets. Farm unions insisted the laws would leave cultivators at the mercy of corporations.

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