Tuesday, June 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BKU adamant on agitation
No information yet on withdrawal of cases: Nain
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Even as the Haryana Government has stated to have withdrawn the cases against Bharatiya Kishan Union (BKU) leaders, Mr Ghasiram Nain, President of the BKU in Haryana, refused to withdraw the agitation saying that he was yet to be officially intimated about the the state government’s step. He said the agitation led by the BKU in Haryana would continue till cases against all those BKU activists, including those who are still in prisons, were withdrawn by the government.

Earlier, talking to the TNS from Jind, a police spokesman said cases against BKU members in Jind as well as in other districts such as Kaithal, Hisar, Bhiwani, etc, filed from 1992 onwards, had been withdrawn. “Mr Nain has seen the order himself yesterday”, the spokesman said.

While cases against the BKU members have been withdrawn, those still imprisoned in connection with cases filed in Jind following violent incidents in the district in December and May reportedly still have cases against them and they are yet to be released. Police sources claimed that the cases against agitators, who are still in prison, are not strictly related to the BKU agitation. “They have got cases against them for burning of buses, etc”, the sources said.

“We have also heard that the state government has initiated the process for withdrawal of cases against BKU activists. But no one from the state government side has contacted us yet about the steps taken by the state government”, Mr Nain told the TNS when he was contacted from Chandigarh over phone.

He said that the 48-hour deadline set by the BKU in a condolence meeting at Gulkani yesterday for meeting its demand would expire tomorrow following which the BKU was to launch its programme of stopping supply to Delhi. “However, if the state government takes the right steps, then the 48- hour deadline can be extended, he added.

Mr Nain said BJP leaders, including Mr I D Swamy, Minister of State for Home in the NDA government, who is from Haryana, would also face the ire of the BKU supporters for not taking notice of the farmers’ agitation in Haryana.


Cong rapped for stand on BKU stir
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 10
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) today accused the Haryana Congress of misguiding farmers and hijacking their agitation in Jind, saying that the state government was prepared to talk to agitating farmers any time.

INLD youth wing chief Ajay Chautala said here today that the state government had already issued instructions to withdraw cases against farmers during agitations since 1992, as demanded by the BKU, and officials concerned in the districts had been given instructions to withdraw the cases.

Charging the Congress with practising double-standards on power reforms, Mr Ajay Chautala said while Congress President Sonia Gandhi had opposed giving free power in her recent address at Guwahati, party’s Haryana chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda was misguiding farmers on the issue and politicising their demands.

He said the INLD had at no stage promised free power to farmers, as was being made out by the Congress, and had fulfilled its promises of the February accord signed with the farmers. He said if the Congress indeed favoured free power to farmers, the party should first provide it in the 14 states having Congress governments.

Mr Chautala said a large number of Congress leaders and only a few BKU leaders were present at yesterday’s meeting at Gulkani in Jind where threats were issued by some BKU leaders to cut supply of power and water to Delhi. He declared that the state government would not allow the disruption of supplies. Charging Mr Hooda with “instigating farmers” and local Congress MLA Jai Prakash of “spoiling atmosphere of peace,” Mr Chautala said strict action would be taken against those found guilty of violence.

Referring to the February agreement with the farmers, Mr Ajay Chautala said they had sought some changes in their farm connections besides withdrawal of cases registered between 1992 and 1998. On the issue of power arrears, Mr Chautala said a follow-up meeting was scheduled for March but farmers were instigated by the Congress leaders to not pay their dues.

Ruling out any change in the policy under which the Haryana Government is collecting one-fourth amount from the farmers to settle their dues, Mr Chautala said power arrears stood at about Rs 1,100 crore. He said Haryana was the only state giving 24-hour power supply to farmers.

The INLD leader said farmers’ agitation in Haryana had normally been peaceful and it was for the first time that women and officials were kidnapped. The Congress has decided to launch a foot-march to Delhi from Jind, which is likely to reach the Capital by June 21. Back

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