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Karnal standoff ends as Haryana government orders probe

Farmers during their sit-in protest outside the Mini Secretariat in Karnal. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The standoff between protesting farmers and the Haryana government over the August 28 baton charge during a protest in Bastara in Karnal, leading to severe injuries to several farmers, ended on Saturday after the government announced a probe into the incident and agreed to give jobs to the kin of a farmer who died of injuries after the incident.

After several rounds of talks between representatives of both sides, it was decided that the baton charge will be investigated by a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. During the period of the probe, the IAS officer (the then SDM Ayush Sinha) — at the centre of a controversy for his alleged speech, caught on camera, exhorting policemen to “smash their [farmers] heads” — will remain on leave.

Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh said there was a demand from the farmers’ organisations that the police baton charge should be investigated and the family of deceased farmer, Sushil Kajal, be given proper compensation.

“On these demands, four rounds of talks were held between the administration and the farmer leaders, in which an agreement was reached. It has been agreed to conduct a detailed inquiry into the ‘lathi charge’ case by a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. This investigation will be completed in a month and during this time Ayush Sinha will remain on leave. Along with this, two members of the family of the deceased farmer will be given a job within a week at DC rate on a sanctioned post,” he said.

Farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said different farmer organisations were involved in the discussions and everyone agreed to end the ongoing ‘dharna’ (sit-in) in front of the mini secretariat at Karnal.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 1:51:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/farmers-call-off-karnal-sit-in-as-haryana-govt-orders-probe-into-lathicharge-incident/article36398291.ece

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