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‘Gaon Bandh’ evokes mixed response; Will the farmers benefit from this?

Chandigarh :
The 10-day “Gaon Bandh” (village shutdown) call given by various farmers’ organisations drew a mixed response in Haryana.

While Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) state president Gurnam Singh Charuni claimed that the supply of fruits, vegetables and milk was reduced to 20 per cent across the state, sources said the response was mixed.

In Fatehabad, agitating farmers stopped vehicles carrying green vegetables and threw these on the road. Later, they stopped a milkman and forced him to pour the entire milk into empty drums brought from the village.

They fled when the police arrived at the spot. Later, the police took out a flag march at the national highway near Dhangar village to instil confidence in those farmers who wanted to take their produce to the town for sale.

In the Ratia Chungi area of Fatehabad, drums of milkmen were emptied on the road by agitators. They dispersed when the police arrived on the spot.

The farmers staged a dharna at several places in Sirsa, Hisar, Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar, but the response was poor in these districts. Charuni said the impact of the strike would be known after two days. “People had started storing vegetables in view of our strike and did not feel the pinch on the first day,” he said.

Karnal: Urban areas did not have any visible impact of “Gaon Bandh” on the first day. Farmers came to the vegetable market to sell vegetables and fruits and sold milk in the city.

Deepak Kumar, a wholesaler, said farmers came to the market as usual and no shopkeeper faced any problem due to the strike. Sewa Singh Arya, state president of the BKU’s Arya faction, said they went to villages to appeal to farmers and most of them participated in the strike.

Rattan Singh Mann, state president of the BKU’s Mann faction, said they would continue their strike till their demands were met and would approach farmers again.

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Farmers protest non-procurement of mustard in Bhiwani; Is the government withdrawing from mustard procurement?

Hisar :
Mustard growers blocked Siwani road in Tosham town of Bhiwani district to protest against non-procurement of crop on Friday. Farmers started protesting after HAFED officials denied entry to mustard-laden tractor-trolleys into the grain market. The blockade was lifted after sometime to prevent a traffic jam.

However, farmers blocked the road again for five hours on Friday when the market committee authorities failed to give an assurance on resumption of purchase.
Tosham SHO Sandeep Sharma, Block Development and Panchayat officer Subhash Sharma arrived at the spot and urged the farmers to remove the blockade.

Later, All-India Kisan Sabha leader Karan Singh Jainawas said the officials concerned assured them that the procurement of mustard would be restarted. “All 124 tractor-trailers loaded with mustard have been allowed entry into the grain market. The authorities have agreed to issue tokens,” he said.

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Forces deployed, Sec 144 in Rohtak on Jat convention eve; Should the government allow such an event?

Rohtak :
The local administrative and police authorities have made arrangements to ensure peace, and law and order during the Jat mahasammelan scheduled for Saturday in Jassia village.
Rohtak DC-cum-District Magistrate Yash Garg has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent any untoward incident during the convention.
Local police officials, 600 personnel (20 platoons) requisitioned from the Haryana Police Academy, Madhuban, two companies of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) and police commandoes have been pressed into service.
Rohtak SP Jashandeep Singh said the convention would be filmed. Several nakas have been set up and traffic routes diverted to prohibit the entry of mahasammelan participants to Rohtak town.
The town has been divided into three sectors. Police patrolling parties have been deployed under DSP-level officers in each sector. Duty Magistrates and police personnel have been deployed at nakas.
The plying of heavy vehicles, including Roadways as well as cooperative buses, has been banned on the Rohtak-Panipat highway. The heavy vehicles may reach Gohana/Panipat from Rohtak via Lakhanmajra.
The All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) is organising the convention to revive the agitation for the grant of reservation. As per intelligence inputs, 10,000 to 12,000 people are likely to attend the event.

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Cong leader serves notice on Vij for remarks on Gandhi; Did Vij hurt the feelings of the countrymen by speaking against Mahatma Gandhi?

Ambala :
Rekha Pruthi, general secretary of the Haryana Pradesh Mahila Congress, has served a defamation notice on Health Minister Anil Vij for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi during a news channel debate last month.

Pruthi told The Tribune on Friday a TV channel debate was organised in Chandigarh between Vij and state Congress president Ashok Tanwar. “During the debate, Vij held Mahatma Gandhi guilty of Partition and bloodshed of lakhs of people then.”

She said she was present during the debate.

“Mahatma Gandhi led the freedom struggle for many years. Because of his sacrifices and struggle, the country got freedom. Vij deliberately used derogatory words against Mahatma Gandhi. He has hurt the sentiments of the citizens of the country,” the Congress leader said.

Pruthi said Vij should apologise or else she would file a defamation case against him.
The defamation notice states the minister is called upon to withdraw his statement and apologise within three days of the receipt of the notice, failing which a criminal complaint for defamation will be filed against him in court.

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IIM-Rohtak head booked for sexual harassment; Are these allegations inspired by politics?

Rohtak :
A case of sexual harassment has been registered against Prof Dheeraj Sharma, Director, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) here, on the basis of a complaint lodged by a former woman assistant professor at the institute.

The former assistant professor, who was terminated from service on May 10, has alleged that she was harassed by the Director continuously after she joined the institute in September 2017.

The complainant has stated that Prof Sharma, who was her reporting authority, subjected her to continuous sexual harassment at workplace ever since her joining.

“During an interaction, he started talking about extra-marital relationship, expressed his openness about the same and asked her views regarding this. He passed objectionable comment and vulgar taunt related to my private sex life. He also proposed to go on night walks,” she alleged, adding that the said proposal was also part of his overtures to coerce her into submission to his lewd desires.

The complainant alleged that she was physically molested by the Director, upon which she pushed him away.

“At this, he said what I had done would not be good for my career…He explicitly threatened to take things against me if I did not listen to him…On March 9, he approached me and explained that I anyway owe him more loyalty also because he had given me the job. He said I would be more open as he wanted to develop a mutually beneficial relationship so that I can advance in my career,” she alleged.

The complainant said as she did not agree to his illicit demands, his behavior changed and he started insulting her and inflicting mental stress whenever he got the slightest opportunity.

Based on the complaint, the police booked Prof Sharma under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman to outrage her modesty) and 354-A (sexual harassment) of the IPC.

The Director could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Later, an official statement released on behalf of the IIM-Rohtak maintained that the said assistant professor had been terminated from service and was doing this to defame the Director and the institute. “This is all an afterthought,” the statement added.

Women police station SHO Garima said statement of the complainant had been recorded before a Magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC. “We have telephonically contacted the Director, who is out of station. He has been asked to join investigation,” she said.
It may be pertinent to mention that two MPs had recently alleged irregularities in the appointment of the IIM-Rohtak Director and sought an inquiry into the matter.

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