Major khap (clan) panchayats in Haryana on Friday decided to send at least one person from each family to farmer protests on Delhi’s borders and socially boycott leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) , khap leaders said. Haryana is governed by a BJP-JJP coalition.
The move came even as the Haryana government suspended mobile Internet in Rewari, Ambala, Jind, Bhiwani, Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Hisar, Rohtak, and Sirsa till Saturday evening, one of the most extensive internet blackouts in the state. The move is aimed at restricting communication between farm groups and preventing mobilisation. But the damage had already been done.
One of the state’s most influential khaps, Kandela, held meetings at Kandela village on Friday. Likewise, the Dadan and Barh khaps hold their meetings at Uchana and Julana in Jind respectively. The Phogat khap met in Dadri, the Sarv khap in Rohtak , and the Sarv Sheoran khap at Kharkari village in Bhiwani.
Balwant Nambardar, head of the Phogat Khap, said, “We have socially boycotted Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, Bhiwani-Mahendergarh MP Dharambir Singh and former Dadri MLA Rajdeep Phogat, who is a chairman in the BJP-JJP government. We will not call these leaders in our social functions.
Om Prakash Hooda, president of Hooda Khap, said his clan has unanimously decided to restrict the entry of ruling party leaders and government officials in villages under their control until the three farm laws are repealed.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other northern states have been protesting at Delhi’s borders demanding the rollback of the three contentious farm laws passed in September last year.
The farmers say they fear corporate farming will affect their earnings. However, the government continues to claim that the new laws would increase incomes of farmers and introduce a level-playing field.
The khaps also decide to send reinforcements to the state’s borders with Delhi where farmers have been camping since November. The Sarv Panchayat khap held a meeting and said thousands of farmers from Haryana would soon reach Delhi’s borders. “The (Phogat) khap has decided to send at least one person from each family to Delhi’s border,” Nambardar added.
“Hundreds of our tractors will head towards Ghazipur border tomorrow (Saturday) from Sampla here after visiting the statue of farm leader Chhotu Ram. We will ensure supply of milk and other items daily,” Hooda of Hooda khap said. On Friday, protesters blocked the Chandigarh- Jind highway; other protestors reached toll plazas in Rohtak, Dadri, Bhiwani, Jind, Hisar and other parts of the state.