M A I N   N E W S

Anti-land acquisition stir turns violent in Rewari, 30 injured
Police opens fire at stone-throwing farmers on Delhi-Jaipur highway
Sunit Dhawan & Nawal Kishore Rastogi/TNS

Aasalwas (Rewari), July 22
A high-voltage situation prevailed for several hours following a violent confrontation as irate villagers tried to block the Delhi-Jaipur national highway (No. 8) and police personnel deployed at the site stopped them from doing so here this afternoon.

Maintain peace, appeals cm

  • Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has appealed to the farmers of Rewari district to maintain peace and not to take law into their hands. The Chief Minister said every problem could be sorted out only through a dialogue.

The policemen lathicharged the protesting farmers to prevent them from blocking the highway. However, after being chased by the policemen to the outskirts of the village, the protesters retaliated and pelted the policemen with stones from rooftops and other hideouts. The police then resorted to firing, first in the air and then on the protesters.

Still the farmers, who were present there in large numbers, were able to prevail over the policemen and chased them away. The police team led by Rewari SP Abhishek Garg had to run for cover as the villagers charged at them.

Following this, the villagers blocked the highway, torched several roadways buses, a fire tender and several other vehicles. They also torched a police post at Kasola village, a few km away from the protest site, and torched several motorcycles parked there.

The protesters used a JCB and dug up the national highway to block the traffic. They also held several police personnel captive.

A mahapanchayat of Bawal Chaurasi (a cluster of 84 villages of the Bawal region) was convened at the behest of the Bhumi Adhigrahan Sangharsh Samiti here today. Nearly 2,000 villagers attended the mahapanchayat.

Around 10 am, the mahapanchayat leaders asserted that some senior administrative official or government functionary would have to come there by 1 pm, failing which they would intensify their stir.

A few minutes past 1 pm, the mahapanchayat leaders, including BKU activist and struggle committee chief Ram Kishan Mehlawat, directed the villagers to lay siege to the highway. The police personnel deployed on the other side of the road used force to disperse the mob. This triggered the violence. Nearly 30 persons, including several policemen, were injured in the clash. They were taken to different hospitals for treatment.

Thousands of vehicles queued up on both sides of the protest site on the NH-8 as the farmers’ demonstration continued.

Rewari Deputy Commissioner CG Rajinikaanthan said the situation was tense, but under control. “Negotiations are going on with the protesters and village leaders, and we are hopeful of resolving the crisis. Arrangements have been made to repair the road and vehicular traffic is being diverted via other routes,” he maintained.

Additional police as well as paramilitary forces had been called to prevent the situation from getting worse.

The villagers, who were earlier staging a dharna at the Rewari mini-secretariat against the acquisition of their fertile land, had vandalised several government offices and damaged vehicles parked there.

Through today’s mahapanchayat, they demanded total cessation of land acquisition in the Bawal block as well as unconditional withdrawal of cases against villagers after their agitation on July 16. The dharna was still on at the filing this report, though the protester had vacated the highway. 





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