Farmers prepare for a long haul at Karnal


Farmers protesting in Haryana against the police lathicharge of August 28, said they might have to keep a permanent protest site in Karnal as talks with the state government remained inconclusive for the second consecutive day.

“We may have a permanent protest like Singhu and Tikri border here,” said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait. He, however, added that they do not want the ongoing protests at the Delhi border to get “disturbed by this one”.

The farmers had pitched tents outside the government offices in Karnal last evening as talks with the state on their demand for justice for the August 28 victims failed.

The march to the Mini Secretariat started after the first round of talks. The police had tried to stop the march, using water cannons on the protesters. Visuals from the spot showed flag-waving, slogan-shouting, farmers jumping over barricades.

The farmers have been demanding the suspension of Ayush Sinha, the IAS officer who had instructed the police to “break the heads” of protesters who were blocking a highway on a day the Chief Minister and other BJP leaders were holding a political meeting in Karnal.

Ten people were injured in the police action that followed and one person had died. The police said the death was due to heart attack, which the farmers have refuted.

Yesterday, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of 40 farmers’ groups, accused the government of protecting and promoting the “the murderous official”.

“We are not going anywhere from here until our demands are met,” Gurnam Singh Chaduni, the chief of Haryana unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni), was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

Regarding the demand for Ayush Sinha’s suspension, he said, “We are saying transferring him is not a punishment. We are also saying when farmers are booked for even road blockade, why not take action against the officer who ordered (the police) to break heads. Is there any law under which such an order can be given?”


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