Police violence against protesters in Haryana sparks anger across country


All India Lawyer’s Union (Regd.) Delhi State Unit takes out a protest march from the Supreme Court to Haryana Bhawan against the lathi charge on the farmers at Karnal, in New Delhi (ANI Photo)

Farmers Agitation Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar commented on the lathi-charge and said that obstructing official work is against democracy

Our Bureau
New Delhi

In a shocking incident, Haryana Police lathi-charged on protesting farmers near the Bastar toll plaza on Saturday, where they gathered in large numbers to protest against a programme that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was scheduled to attend. Several farmers were injured during the police action on Saturday. A farmer injured in the lathi charge also died on Sunday.

Following the incident, a clipping of a video went viral on social media, which was also tweeted by BJP MP from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi, in which Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha could be purportedly seen instructing policemen to “crack their (protesting farmers’) heads” to prevent them from moving forward and not to let anyone breach the security cordon.

“No matter what happens, nobody will cross this barricade. We could not let this line be breached at any cost. Let me make it clear, break the heads of all those who try to cross. I am the duty magistrate, and I’m giving you these instructions in writing. Hit them with your cane straightaway…We have enough force available. We haven’t slept for the past two days. But you have come here after taking some sleep. No one should break the cordon and reach me,” Sinha said in the video.

Hitting out at BJP-led Central government for the Haryana Police’s lathi charge at farmers in Karnal, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday compared the government with “Talibanis”.

Speaking at a Kisan Mahapanchayat at Anaj Mandi in Haryana’s nuh district, the BHU leader said ‘Sarkari Talibani’ has occupied the country. “Yesterday, an officer ordered (policemen) to hit farmers on their heads. They call us Khalistani. If you would call us Khalistani and Pakistani, we would say ‘Sarkari Talibani’ has occupied the country. They are ‘Sarkari Talibanis’,” said Tikait.

“The officers who speak about cracking farmers’ heads should be posted in Naxal-affected areas. That IAS officer (Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha) is commander of ‘Sarkari Talibani’,” he added.

Farmers block the Jalandhar-Delhi National Highway during a protest against the lathi charge on them in Karnal, in Jalandhar on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

“There is the commander who gave the order to break the head. Through the police force, they want to take over the entire country,” further said Tikait commenting on the injured farmers at the Karnal’s protest. Meanwhile, farmers blocked the road at Bhandari Bridge in Punjab’s Amritsar on Sunday for two hours in protest against the lathi charge on protesting farmers in Karnal.

Former Haryana Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday condemned the police action against protesting farmers in Karnal and said that issues between farmers and the Centre can be resolved only by talks and not by suppressing people’s voices.

While briefing the media, he said, “Any problem can be resolved by talks only but not by suppressing people’s voices.” The Haryana Police on Saturday lathi-charged protesting farmers in Karnal, leading to fresh protests and political war of words against the backdrop of an ongoing agitation against three contentious farm laws.

“There must be a high-level inquiry into whatever happened yesterday. Culprits must be punished,” Hooda demanded a probe into the incident.

Further, Punjab Chief Minister’s Office issued a statement slamming Haryana’s move. Condemning Karnal sub-divisional magistrate Ayush Sinha’s instructions to policemen to “crack” the heads of protesting farmers in a viral video, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Sunday assured that action will be taken against the IAS officer.

But, defending police action on the agitating farmers in Haryana’s Karnal, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said that one would not welcome anyone with garlands if they try to attack you. Speaking to ANI over the matter, Chautala said, ” Video of police facing attacks have surfaced. You would not welcome anyone with a garland if they try to attack you, they (police) had to lathi-charge. Police’s job is to maintain law and order. We have made sure there is no use of excessive force in the last 9 months.” Commenting on the protests of farmers against the Centre’s farm laws, Chautala said, “If the intention is to create chaos, then it is different. But if the intention is to work for farmers and farm laws, then they must have regular talks.”

“Where are those 40 people who said MSP and markets would not exist and lands will be occupied?” he questioned further.

Earlier on Monday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar commented on the lathi-charge and said that obstructing official work is against democracy.

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