The Moga police on Thursday got into a violent clash with the protesting farmers who stormed the national highway outside the new grain market where the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal was to address a public meeting.
Reportedly, the protestors broke the police barricades with tractors and forced their way to the venue of the SAD rally, forcing the police to use brute power. The police resorted to lathi-charge and used water cannons to turn the protesting farmers away.
The situation got violent after a set of alleged farmers pelted stones at the police.
Stone pelting between police & protesting farmers at Moga grain market where SAD president @officeofssbadal had reached to address ‘Gall Punjab Di’ pre-poll campaign rally. @IndianExpress @iepunjab pic.twitter.com/r3rzSzoolK— Divya Goyal (@divya5521) September 2, 2021
At least five farmers and several policemen were injured, 15 vehicles damaged in the clash and 35 people were detained by Punjab police.
Sukhbir Singh Badal was scheduled to attend a program at Dana Mandi. Protesters attacked police personnel, some got injured. They also vandalized around 15 vehicles: Gurdeep Singh, SP (Headquarter), Moga pic.twitter.com/5a76Q31hqx— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2021
Incidentally, the farmers were already upset over the Moga police’s attitude after they raided the houses of local farm activists on Wednesday night to detain them to avert the protest.
‘Police action will not deter us’
Krantikari Kisan Union activist Baldev Singh Zira asserted that their protest will continue despite the police assault. We will continue our protests with determination as the Akali leadership had supported the BJP to introduce the three controversial farm laws,” Zira remarked.
Leader of the Kirti Kisan Union Nirbhay Singh in an interview to The Hindu said, “We have every right to seek answers from leaders, and today, we wanted to ask Mr Badal why his party supported the three farm laws when they (SAD) were an ally of the government at the Centre.”
“As we moved towards the venue, the police used water cannons and batons on us, leaving close to a dozen injured,” narrated Singh.
“Now, we have started a ‘pucca morcha’ and until the farmers, who have been detained are not released, we will not relent,” he said further resonating the sentiments of Baldev Singh Zira.
Warnings were issued said the police
SSP Dhruman H Nimbale informed, “We warned them several times. Some protesters pelted cops with stones after which the force was used to disperse them. They had also blocked the national highway near the spot which was later cleared.”
At least 35 protesters have been detained and the situation is now under control. We have also registered a criminal case under Sections 307, 332, 333, 353, 186, 148, 149, 120B of the IPC, Section 8-B of the National Highway Act, 1956, Sections 3, 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act at the City-I police station against unknown persons.” added the SSP.
Punjab CM had demanded ML Khattar’s resignation over police action on farmers
Interestingly Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh early this week had demanded the resignation of Haryana’s Chief Minister ML Khattar after the Harayan police had lathicharged farmers protesting in Karnal.
Calling it a ‘government-sponsored attack’, Singh had asked Khattar to compensate the injured farmers. “This is no way to treat our annadaatas (farmers),” remarked the Punjab CM.
He also demanded an apology from the Haryana CM and ironically had described the police action as “brazen brutality”.
Khattar, however, had asserted that strictness has to be maintained to ensure law and order.