Police resort to lathi-charge as agitating farmers rush to lay siege to Deputy Commissioner’s office in Raichur

Several farmers, four police personnel, including a woman constable, and a woman who is pregnant were injured in a clash after police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse agitating farmers outside the office of Deputy Commissioner here on Monday.

The farmers attached to Karnataka Raitha Sangha (KRS) were staging a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office since morning in support of their several demands, including right to government land being cultivated by landless farmers, taking action against illegal stone quarrying in forest land in Manvi taluk and grant of property right to homeless people living in government land, returning land acquired for the Yergera Post-Graduate Centre to the original owners and CBI probe into sale of cyanide ash by Hutti Gold Mines Limited.

As none from the administration came out of the office to hear them even after three hours of peaceful demonstration, the irate farmers rushed to lay siege to the office at 2 p.m.

When persuasion went in vain and the situation was going out of control, the police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the agitating farmers.

Several farmers, Deputy Superintendent of Police M. Pasha, Circle Inspector of Police Chandrashekhar and constables Savita and Channappa were injured in the clash.

The police were found chasing the mob in different directions.

As many as 30 people, including KRS State unit president Manasaiah, farmer leaders D.H. Pujar, Chinnappa Kotraki, Nagalingaswamy and Rajashekhar Sultanpur were taken away in a police van.

Superintendent of Police M.N. Nagaraj, however, said that no arrests were made. “The agitating farmers were summoned to my office and let off,” he told The Hindu. Eight police personnel and 10 civilians were injured in the incident, he added.

“We had no option but to lathi-charge when the protesters started throwing stones at the police apart from manhandling Mr. Pasha and Mr. Chandrashekar,” Vinod Muktedar, Circle Inspector of Police (West) said.

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