From the prime minister to Haryana chief minister, several top political leaders are tagged in such tweets. Similar posts can be also found on Facebook.

PUNJAB AND Haryana farmers protesting against the farm Bills tabled by the central government are facing the heat on social media. A Twitter account recently unleashed a series of tweets against the farmers’ protest planned in Kurukshetra to oppose the ordinances on September 10. The account even refers to farmers as ‘rapists’ and ‘terrorists’, and has also been posting against the Jatt and Dalit communities.

“Farmers are committing suicide to remain in the headlines. They are trying to blackmail you by committing suicide,” reads a tweet addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

From the prime minister to Haryana chief minister, several top political leaders are tagged in such tweets. Similar posts can be also found on Facebook. For example, a group called ‘Hik Thok Hindu’ with 26,000 members is regularly posting content opposing the farmers’ agitation against the ordinances, and calling it a ‘Jatt agitation’.

Another profile made series of posts in a group which included a ‘Jatt’ depicted by an animal face with turban on its head.

Another group, ‘Justice for Punjabi Hindus’, with 5,000 members had a post which said, “If Jatt community can’t understand that new agriculture ordinance is not any change but a benefit then how can you expect from these sheep about developing Punjab.”

A post on Facebook page Drishtikon claims: “Kheti bills are enacted in whole country. But it has being opposed only in Punjab and other states are calling it farming reforms. Why?” It also accuse farmers of not allowing the setting up of special economic zones and then “crying” about the problem of drug addiction among youth.

There are many profiles which make claims in their comments about their alleged farming background to support the bill and troll those who are opposing it. A reply to the PM on his tweet supporting the new Bills calls protesting farmers “agents of political parties”.

Farmer leader Manoj Duhan from Haryana has filed a complaint against one such profile. “We came to know that the profile was being operated from Mathura and made a police complaint there. We are expecting police action soon against whoever this person is. There is a design in such hate messages. These are well-organised,” said Duhan.

“It is a myth that only the Jatt community is into farming. There is no caste in India which has no farmer. How come these people don’t know this fact?. Farmers are the backbone of the economy. Farmers produce the food so that nobody dies of hunger. It is the first time that the farmers’ struggle has been seen from the caste lens on social media to spread hate,” said Sawarn Singh, Kisan Sangarsh Committee leader.

He further said, “We are surprised at such posts. On one side, police is keeping an eye on social media and on the other, this hate against farmers is going unchecked. Is there a hidden design to divert the focus from the demands of farmers Government must take strict action against such social media profiles, who spread such hate. Farmers never come to oppose agitation of other groups and communities. In fact we often extend our support to agitations against government. So why anybody should have problems with farmers?”

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