Yamuna protesters refuse to budge as Haryana rejects their demand

Yamuna protesters refuse to budge as Haryana rejects their demand

 The march to secure release of water from Hathinikund in Haryana to flush the Yamuna appears deadlocked.

The Central government has categorically told activists that this is not possible. The only reconciliatory gesture the Central government is willing to offer is to allow water to be released in Braj in Agra from other sources.

Parleys continued till midnight, but yielded no satisfactory results.

“They are fooling us. Our original demand stands. We want water released from Hathinikund. If they don’t agree, we will continue our protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and move towards Hathinikund,” said Radha Krishna Shastri, an aide of Ramesh Baba of Barsana, who is spearheading the movement.

Shastri, however, said the group will engage in a few more rounds of talks with Central government representatives to see if any agreement is possible.

“Many marchers are now keen to return. Some face-saving formula will have to be worked out later in the day,” said a volunteer.

“Late-night parleys between government representatives and the yatra crusaders had kindled some hope, but uncertainly prevails,” said activist Shravan Kumar Singh.

The Maan Mandir-Barsana ascetics say there is nothing new in the offer made to construct a canal to intercept the drains in Delhi, as the Supreme Court had already set a deadline in the matter.

“Harish Rawat, union minister for water resources, told us some water will be released for Vrindavan from a canal. But this could have been done by UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also,” said a key member of the core group leading the march.

“We are here to get water released from Hathinikund, and we will not go back till that is granted,” said the member.

The Haryana government has told the Centre and the protesters that the 1994 agreement among Haryana, UP and Rajasthan is being followed, and the agreed quantity of water is being released into the Yamuna.

Sources ruled out the possibility of Haryana agreeing to release any more water.

“Farmers in Haryana depend on the Yamuna and canals that divert water from
Hathinikund. Farmers will never agree to a move to release more water. There are fears of a full-scale confrontation if any effort is made in that direction,” said a Haryana politician, refusing to be named.

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