Farmers, police clash at Haryana CM’s event

Farmers seen during a protest on new farm law issue. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Several farmers, including women, and police personnel, sustained injuries in a clash during the visit of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal to Hisar on Sunday to inaugurate a hospital for COVID-19 patients.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) president Gurnam Singh Charuni, in a video message, alleged that the police pelted stones on the farmers and fired rubber bullets at them. BKU (Charuni) spokesperson Rakesh Bains said that farmers across the State blocked roads for two hours in protest against police action.

The clash broke out around noon when a large number of farmers gathered at the venue for the inauguration of 500-bed Chaudhary Devi Lal Sanjeevani Covid Hospital in Hisar to protest against the visit of Mr. Lal.

Suresh Kumar, Haryana vice-president, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, claimed that the farmers were holding a peaceful protest against the visit of the Chief Minister in accordance with the call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha when the police allowed a few hundred of them inside and resorted to unprovoked lathi-charge. He added that the police fired tear gas shells on them.

“It is immediately difficult to ascertain the exact number of farmers injured, but at least 50 have sustained injuries. It includes women as well. The police also fired rubber bullets injuring the farmers,” said Mr. Kumar. Agitated farmers later laid siege to the residence of Hisar Superintendent of Police, Balwan Singh Rana, demanding action against the erring police officers and the release of farmers detained by the police.

The Haryana Police in a press statement claimed that 20 police personnel, including five women, and Deputy Superintendent of Police Abhimanyu Lohan had been injured in an attack by “miscreants” on a police team outside the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sanjivani Hospital. The police claimed that the “miscreants” also damaged five police vehicles.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Upasna told The Hindu over phone that the farmers continued to hold the protest even after the Chief Minister had left the venue, and they pelted stones on the police. “The mob turned violent and tried to run over the police officers with tractors. They also pelted stones on the police. We fired tear gas shells and used mild force to disperse them,” said Ms. Upasna.

Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja, and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Gupta, also the AAP’s in-charge for Haryana, condemned the use of force against the farmers.

Former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Birender Singh said there was a need to go to the root of the matter to prevent the repetition of the unfortunate incident at Hisar. Should the government not initiate dialogue with farmers, he sought to know in a tweet from his handle. Mr. Singh stressed that there should be no more delay in finding a solution to the matter, adding that he was committed to make fresh efforts in this direction.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:40:49 AM |

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