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The Haryana police on Monday booked Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Gurnam Singh Charuni and dozens of other protesters after the stage chairs, tables and flower pots of the venue of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's rally were ransacked by them.

According to a police official in Karnal, where the ‘Kisan mahapanchayat’ was to be held, a case has been registered against 71 people by name, including Gurnam Singh Charuni, while 800-900 unnamed people have also been booked.

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They have been booked for rioting, assault on a public servant, damaging public property, criminal conspiracy and other charges, police said. Nobody has been arrested yet as the police is busy collecting evidence, including video clips, related to the charges.

Khattar blames Charuni

The complaint came after Khattar accused Charuni of instigating people for vandalising the programme venue.

"Administration had spoken to their (protesting farmers) people yesterday. They had agreed to hold a symbolic protest but no agitation. Trusting them, administration had made all preparations. Over 5,000 people were present at the event today. But some youth failed to keep their promise," said Khattar about the cancellation of 'kisan mahapanchayat'.

Vandalism at venue

Protesting farmers on Sunday vandalised the venue of a 'kisan mahapanchayat' programme at Kaimla village here where Khattar was to address people to highlight the “benefits" of the Centre's three agriculture laws.

The Haryana Police used water cannons and lobbed teargas shells to prevent the farmers from marching towards the village.

The farmers, however, reached the venue and damaged the makeshift helipad where Khattar's chopper was to land despite elaborate security arrangements made by the police.

They later took control of the helipad and squatted on it. Some protesters also uprooted the tiles of the helipad.

The farmers disrupted the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ programme by damaging the stage and breaking chairs, tables and flower pots at the venue.

In the melee, stones were also pelted as police personnel ran for cover.

A purported video of Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Charuni, making an appeal to "end the arrogance of the CM" by not allowing him to address the mahapanchayat, was circulating on social media.

On January 6, the BKU (Charuni) had threatened to oppose the 'kisan mahapanchayat'.

With inputs from agencies.

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