As ‘farmers’ continue to stage protest against farm laws, reports have emerged that Haryana police have booked as many as 100 unidentified protestors under the sedition law after they attacked and damaged an official vehicle of Haryana Deputy Speaker and BJP leader Ranbir Gangwa. The FIR also names farmer leaders Harcharan Singh and Prahlad Singh. The attack reportedly took place on July 11 in Haryana’s Sirsa district. The FIR was filed on the same day under IPC sections 124-A (sedition) and 307 (attempt to murder).
Today Haryana Police arrested five people for involvement in the attack. “Five protesters have been arrested. We analysed the video footage of the incident in the past two days. The pictures were magnified and later based on the evidence, the five who were identified have been arrested,” Sirsa superintendent of police Dr Arpit Jain told media over the phone.
More people have been identified who were present near the site of the incident on Sunday and further action will depend on to what extent their involvement, informed the police officer.
According to reports, the Haryana Assembly Deputy Speaker was in his car when it was attacked with stones. Though the rear windscreen of the car was completely shattered in the attack, Ranbir Gangwa, who was sitting on the front seat, escaped unhurt.
Ranbir Gangwa was in Sirsa on Sunday to take part in BJP’s executive committee meeting. The protesters attacked his vehicle when he was leaving the venue after the meeting was over. Despite heavy security, some protesters managed to surround the vehicle and banged against it with their hands. Police said that they also pelted stones at the car and broke its rear windscreen.
Police had used mild force to disperse the protestors, after which Gangwa’s car left the spot. Meanwhile, the SHO of civil lines Vikram Singh has also been suspended for allegedly mishandling the situation which resulted in the vandalism of the Deputy Speaker’s car on Sunday.
Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa had said on Tuesday that those who pelted his vehicle with stones on Sunday cannot be called farmers. “They cannot be called farmers. I can say those who attacked looked like addicts,” he had said.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij slammed the ‘farmers’ saying that they were getting more and more violent with each passing day. “The violent agitation cannot be allowed to continue in a democratic and peaceful country,” he asserted.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls allegations “false, frivolous and cooked up”
However, refuting the allegations, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha called it “false, frivolous and cooked up”. In a statement, the SKM, which has been in the forefront of the agitation, said: “Farmer leaders Harcharan Singh and Prahlad Singh and around 100 farmers have been booked under false cases… with grave charge of sedition… merely because they were protesting against Haryana Deputy Speaker in Sirsa.”
‘Farmers’ launching attacks on BJP leaders emerging as a repeated trend in Haryana
While the farmer leaders have called the accusation baseless and frivolous, multiple such incidents have been reported in the past as well. In the beginning of the month, OpIndia reported how a group of protesting ‘farmers’, which included women, destroyed paddy from 1.5 acres of land that is owned by BJP leader Harjeet Singh Grewal in his native place in the Dhanaula village of Barnala district of Punjab. These ‘farmers’ under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), made videos of the act and also raised anti-BJP slogans while destroying the crop.
Calling them “aatanki (terroists) kisan, Congress and Maowadi’s (Maoist)”, the minister had asserted that these people are being able to carry out such felonious activities with impunity because of the backing of Punjab police, working at the behest of the Congress government in the state.
Similarly in May, farmers at Hisar, Hayarana got violent and tried to disrupt a Covid-19 facility inauguration event attended by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. As per reports, a huge crowd gathered at the site all of a sudden charging at the security forces which resulted in a clash. The farmers had also attacked DSP Abhimanyu, leaving him seriously injured. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha protesting on the border had also backed the protest.