M A I N   N E W S

Agitating farmers lathicharged

Sriganganagar, October 30
Around 30 persons were injured, five of them seriously, when the police resorted to a lathicharge to quell agitating farmers in Rawatsar in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan today.

The police had to resort to baton-charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse a 2,000-strong crowd of farmers, including women. The protestors tried to enter the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and pelted police with stones. The agitating farmers have been camping in the area for the past 15 days.

The injured have been admitted to Rawatsar hospital.

The police dismantled the tents of the farmers and even entered houses, and lathicharged the people there.

The Indira Gandhi Canal Project areas in Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Bikaner districts are observing a bandh today in connection with the continuing farmers’ agitation over irrigation water. Rawatsar also observed a ‘Janta Curfew’ today.

The Kisan Mazdoor Vyapari Sangharsh Samiti had given a call for a ‘Janta Curfew’ in these areas. The protestors put up several road blocks in the area.

In view of the bandh, Rajasthan Roadways suspended its service. Private buses are also off the roads.

The mandis in Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Lunkaransar, Khajuwala, Kshatargarh, Dantor were closed. The agitators blocked several points on Highway No 15 by cutting and placing trees.

Meanwhile, impasse over the last rites for farmer Chanduram finally ended today with the autopsy being conducted in Ganganagar district, six days after his death in police lathicharge in Gharsana.

After a telephonic conversation with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today, state Congress president B.D. Kalla announced that Chanduram’s body would be handed over to doctors for the autopsy.

The district administration then sent a team of four doctors to 6 DD village, the camping site of the agitating farmers. The post-mortem was conducted at a nearby site itself.

The farmers allege that Chanduram died after sustaining injuries in the police lathicharge in Gharsana.

Dr Kalla, former Congress minister Dr Chandrabhan and CPM leader Amraram were present during the exercise. Dr Kalla said the cremation plans would be decided keeping in view the stand of the state government.

He said Mrs Raje had agreed to Chanduram’s family and farmers’ demand of a relief package of Rs 5 lakh but was insisting on the withdrawal of their second demand of a job for a member of the family.

Dr Kalla said Kisan Mazdoor Vyapari Sangharsh Samiti, spearheading the farmers’ agitation for irrigation water from the Indira Gandhi Canal Project, will decide on the future strategy after receiving the autopsy report. — UNI



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