More than a week after a 40-year-old distressed farmer committed suicide by consuming poison outside the Maharashtra Mantralaya, the ruling Shiv Sena party held forth on the treatment meted out by Haryana police to rampaging farmers on August 28.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut condemned the lathi charge carried out by Haryana police on riotous protesters on Sunday and criticised the Centre for not paying heed to farmers’ demands.
In his broadsides against the central government, Raut even went on to equate the corrective action taken by police against the protesters with the repressive measures adopted by the Islamist group Taliban.
“Attack on farmers is a shameful incident for the nation. This is a kind of Talibani mentality. How can this government say it is for the poor and for the farmers? It doesn’t even hear farmers’ ‘Mann ki Baat’,” news agency ANI quoted Raut saying.
Haryana Police lathi charges rampaging protesters in Karnal
The pontification from the Shiv Sena leader came hot on the heels of baton charge conducted by Haryana Police on 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.
While the farmer leaders accused the police of using disproportionate force against the protesters, several videos were shared online where rabble-rousers could be seen wielding what seemed like an axes and charging at the police personnel. In a tweet, BJP leader Tajinder Singh 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.
Farmer in Maharashtra commits suicide outside Mantralaya after he was denied a meeting with CM Uddhav Thackeray
Nevertheless, Raut assumed the moral high horse and proceeded to lecture the Centre on how they should be treating frenzied protesters bent on breaking barricades, just days after a farmer in Maharashtra took the extreme decision of giving up his life because the administration turned a blind eye to his grievances.
According to reports, Jadhav’s land in Pune was captured by some people. He had filed a complaint about the matter at the nearest police station. But the police station there did not take any action. Jadhav then reached Mantralaya so that his matter would be heard.
On August 20, the deceased, identified as Subash Jadhav, had come to seek an audience with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil in Mantralaya over a land dispute case but was not allowed inside as the entry is restricted due to the COVID-19 norms.
After being denied a meeting, Jadhav consumed poison outside the Mantralaya and died during treatment at a hospital two days later, on Sunday, August 22.