ROHTAK: After nearly seven hours of high drama on Friday, several Haryana BJP leaders who were held hostage at Rohtak’s Kiloi village temple by protesting farmers and villagers, were let off on the condition that they would not hold any public event as long as the ‘Kisan Andolan’ is on. Those held “hostage” included former Haryana co-operative minister Manish Grover.
Farmers protesting against the Centre’s three farm laws have been opposing programmes of leaders of Haryana’s ruling BJP-JJP alliance. Grover had reached the village temple around 10am with several party leaders to watch the live telecast of PM Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath visit. As news spread about their visit, the farmers protesting at toll plazas started assembling near the temple.

Manish Grover had come to watch the live telecast of PM’s Kedarnath visit

Several residents of Kiloi and nearby areas also gathered at the spot and demanded an apology from the ex-minister for visiting the village temple despite the call by farmer groups.
Seeing the swelling protest against BJP leaders who were not permitted to come outside from the shrine, a heavy police force was deployed and SPs from Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonipat also reached there. Cops made a human wall around the temple gate to prevent any protester from entering to ward off any trouble.
Preet Singh, All India Kisan Sabha district president said farmer groups had warned BJP leaders against holding public events. Grover and his party men never visit the local grain market where farmers have been struggling to sell their paddy crop but find time to visit temples for the sake of their politics, he said.
Another protester said no invitation was extended to BJP leaders, and they came against the wish of the temple committee in the wake of farmers’ call to boycott ruling party leaders. “We prevented their exit from the temple till they came out with an apology with folded hands and undertaking that they shall not make any visit in Rohtak district to disrespect the boycott call,” he added.
Outside the temple, youngsters hooted against the BJP government and insisted on Grover apologising in public. Around 2pm, deputy commissioner Capt Manoj Kumar also reached to assuage the public anger. The matter was resolved after 5pm, when BJP leaders, including Grover, made an appearance on the parapet of the temple’s first floor with folded hands, a gesture seen as an apology by the protesters. However, minutes after Grover emerged, he told the media that he had not sought any apology, and just folded hands to say ‘Ram Ram’ to the protesters. “If needed, I will not hesitate in visiting the Kiloi Shiv temple again,” he said.


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