The brutal lathicharge by the Haryana police in which over a dozen farmers sustained serious injuries at the Bastara toll plaza on the GT Road near Karnal on Saturday has unmasked the true face of the BJP-JJP-led Haryana government that claims itself as a farmer’s saviour, former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly Bhupinder Singh Hooda has said.
This inhuman and cruel act of the Manohar Lal Khattar government that left scores of poor farmers, protesting to lodge their resentment against the Union government’s Farm Laws, injured has been widely criticised by every section of the society.
Haryana ADGP (Law and Order) Mandeep Singh Virk claimed that the farmers forcibly blocked the national highway at the toll plaza and tried to march towards the city. “The farmers turned violent after the police forces deployed there stopped them. The irate farmers even hurled stones at the police in which over 10 jawans were injured. To control the situation, the police had to use mild force to disperse the crowd,” said Virk.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, however, criticised the farmers for giving a call to protest the meeting of the Haryana unit of the BJP. Organised to chalk out the plans and strategies for the ensuing panchayat and local body elections, the meeting was attended by Khattar, state BJP chief OP Dhankhar, and many MPs, ministers, and the party MLAs from Karnal, Panipat, Hisar and Fatehabad districts.
Khattar said, “It is unconstitutional to oppose any meeting. If the farmers had to protest, they should have done it peacefully. They hurled stones and blocked highways, it was the duty of the police to maintain law and order. The matter will be looked into and action will be taken against all (police or farmers) those at fault.”
As the news of police lathicharge on farmers spread, vehicular traffic on various national and state highways across Haryana came to a standstill for over six hours. Besides the GT road, the enraged farmers blocked the Panchkula-Shimla highway, state highways in Karnal, Hisar, Jind and Kaithal districts were blocked too.
There are reports that farmers also blocked the Fatehabad-Chandigarh, Gohana-Panipat and the Jind-Patiala highways, and the Ambala-Chandigarh and the Hisar-Chandigarh national highways.
Haryana Congress condemns action, demand independent enquiry
Strongly condemning the police lathicharge on farmers, former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded an independent enquiry in the incident and acting against the accused. He said, “The action has reflected the mindset of the BJP-JJP government. It seems that the state government has dived to disintegrate the protesting farmers.”
Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president Kumari Selja said that the brutal lathi-charge on farmers by the police in Karnal is extremely shameful and condemnable. Selja said that this attitude of the Haryana government with the farmers would not be tolerated at all.
She said that the way the BJP government is continuously committing such atrocities with the farmers and laborers, in coming times, people of Haryana will teach it a lesson. The Congress party will not allow the conspiratorial plans of the government to succeed at any cost and will continue to stand tall with the farmers and labourers, she added.
Capt. Amarinder Singh slams Manohar Lal Khattar
Expressing shock at the brazen brutality of the Haryana police, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has also slammed his counterpart in the neighbouring state for unleashing such a vicious assault on the peacefully protesting farmers.
Pointing out that this was not the first time that farmers had been subjected to such ruthlessness at the hands of the Haryana police, Amarinder Singh said it was evident that the BJP-led ML Khattar government had once again deliberately used brute force in a desperate bid to end the farmers’ stir against the draconian Farm Laws.
Such a government sponsored attack on farmers was not only unacceptable but outright condemnable, said the Chief Minister, demanding an apology from the Haryana CM and aid for the injured farmers. “This is no way to treat out Aannadaatas,” said Capt. Amarinder Singh, warning that the BJP would have to bear the consequences of such horrendous actions, and of the apathy of its government at the Centre towards the farmers, in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Punjab and other states.
Instead of heeding the concerns of the farmers and repealing the Farm Laws which were clearly undemocratic and anti-farmer, the BJP had been persistently indulging in offensive acts, even stooping to the extent of insulting them by using derogatory names, he said. The people of India will not forgive the BJP for its shameful treatment of the farmers, many of whom have lost their lives during their protest at the Delhi borders, he added.
Tikait demands action against Duty Magistrate
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday visited Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College (KCGMC) in Karnal to enquire about the condition of farmers, who were injured in the police lathicharge on Saturday.
Tikait also demanded action against the Duty Magistrate who ordered the lathicharge on the protesting farmers. — Courtesy National Herald