The Haryana Police on Saturday lathi-charged a rampaging group of farmers who had disrupted the traffic movement on a highway leading to Karnal in protest against a BJP meeting. Several dignitaries, including Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, state BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar and other senior leaders of the party were present at the meeting.
A video of riotous protesters being lathi-charged by police personnel near Bastara toll plaza was shared by news agency ANI.
Tension prevailed in the area following the clashes between police officials and protesting farmers. Reacting to police action, the farmers’ body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) issued a call to farmers to block all highways and toll plazas across Haryana.
“To protest the baton-charge in Haryana’s Karnal, all the roads will be blocked till 5 pm in the state,” BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said.
The Commissionerate of Panchkula posted a tweet that said the Surajpur Toll Plaza (Kalka-Zirakpur Highway) has been blocked by protesting farmers.
While the farmer leaders accused the police of using disproportionate force against the protesters, BJP leader Tajinder Singh Bagga shared a video in which one of the rabble-rousers, apparently a farmer protester, could be seen wielding what seemed like an axe and charging at the police personnel. In a tweet, Bagga said the lathi charge was a retaliatory action by the police after they were attacked by stones and other sharp weapons by workers of Rakesh Tikait’s party.
राकेश डकैत पार्टी के कार्यकर्ताओं द्वारा पुलिस पर लाठियों से हमला किया गया , पत्थर फेंके गए जिसके जवाब में पुलिस ने लाठीचार्ज किया । वीडियो कभी झूठ नही बोलता#किसान_हितैषी_मनोहर_मोदी— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) August 28, 2021
Another video that is doing the rounds on the internet is that of Karnal SDM, who is seen. in the viral clip asking police forces to use harsh measures to keep the law and order under control and ensure that protesters don’t break barricades.
SDM karnal tells officers to hit the protesting kisans on their head – how can this be ok ? pic.twitter.com/M7luum4qux— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) August 28, 2021
In order to stop the farmer protesters from disrupting the BJP meeting, the Karnal police had blocked all roads leading to Gurdwara Dera Kar Sewa. The meeting was convened to discuss the holding of panchayat elections in the state.
However, the protesters gathered at Bastara toll plaza created a ruckus on National Highway 44 and tried to disrupt the traffic, after which the police officials resorted to lathi-charge. Farmer leader Jagdip Singh Aulakh claimed that several farmers got injured in the police action.