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Allow farmer leaders to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, says Chaduni after release from detention


Senior farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni Tuesday demanded that all farmer leaders should be allowed to visit Lakhimpur Kheri while expressing reservations over attempts to deny movement to the area.

“It’s wrong that the farmer leaders are not being allowed to move to Lakhimpur. It seems there are attempts to suppress and hide something,” Chaduni told The Indian Express. He was released at 2.30 am Tuesday following midnight agitations in Haryana with farmers blocking highways and staging protests to gherao houses of BJP-JJP leaders. Sources said Chaduni was brought to Kundli border of Delhi with the UP cops accompanying him in five to six vehicles.

The UP police had detained Chaduni in Meerut when he was on his way to Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday afternoon. He was kept in Meerut’s police lines, say sources. As news of his arrest spread, farmers in Haryana started blocking highways from 6 pm on Monday. They even staged dharnas at some highways. By 8 pm, they started moving to the houses of a few BJP-JJP leaders.

Several farmers sat on a dharna outside the Karnal residence of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Meanwhile, Karnal BKU leader Jagdeep Singh Aulakh announced that the farmers would block all highways from 7 am on Tuesday if Chaduni was not released by then.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) too condemned the detention of Chaduni. In a statement Tuesday, it said: “The undemocratic and authoritarian behaviour of the UP government is illegal and challenged by SKM. It is clear that the Yogi government is wary of the truth of the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre emerging fully in front of the world and is protecting its own. SKM condemns the attempts of the UP government to prevent people from Punjab from coming to Lakhimpur Kheri, and asks the UP government to withdraw its letter to Punjab Government Chief Secretary with regard to the same.”

“Reports are coming in that UP police is preventing and harassing farmers from other places who want to attend the last rites of two youth from Bahraich district who got martyred in Lakhimpur Kheri. SKM demands that the UP government stop its undemocratic behaviour and not take away basic rights of citizens,” it added.

Earlier, senior BKU leader Rakesh Tikait and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar were the only leaders allowed to enter the area amid a state government clampdown on the entry of Opposition leaders and shutdown of internet services. Tikait played a key role in facilitating the post-mortem of the four farmers who were killed after protesters kept the bodies overnight at a college ground.



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