10 injured as police lathicharge farmers heading towards Karnal to protest against BJP meet; highways blocked

NH blockade lifted after farmers detained by police released; CM Khattar terms 'act of farmers as undemocratic', justifies police action

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, August 28

Around 10 farmers were injured after the police reportedly resorted to lathicharge to disperse a group of farmers who were heading towards Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and BJP state president OP Dhankhar attended the state-level meeting.

Farmers blocked the national highway-44 near Bastara toll plaza amid deployment of heavy police force.

The NH-44 blockade was lifted after farmers detained by police were released in the evening.

Tense situation prevailed at NH-44 after a face-off situation between farmers and police. Stones were pelted from both sides. Police resorted to lathi-charge on farmers. While farmers ran in fields, police chased them.

Police also took control on the Bastara toll plaza.

Toll plazas were closed in Karnal, Panipat and Ambala following farmers' protest.

Farmers also blocked toll plaza at Panipat on NH-44 for around one hour.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar referred the " and said nobody should create a hurdle in the programme of anyone. "They were allowed to raise their issue in a democratic way and peacefully. If they pelted police with stones and blocked roads, the action was initiated by the police," the CM said.

The BKU had given a call to farmers to reach Bastara toll plaza in large numbers, where they assembled.

Later, farmers blocked roads at Jalmana, Assandh and Nissing to protest against the police lathicharge at Bastara toll plaza.

There was a tense situation at Bastara toll plaza as farmers were adamant to move towards Karnal to protest against the CM's programme.

IG Mamta Singh was present at the toll plaza.

BKU president Gurnam Singh Charuni also reached here, after which the farmers blocked national highway.

Charuni addressed the farmers and appealed them not to take law into hands, but to protest peacefully.

In Kaithal, farmers also blocked roads at Titram Mor in Kaithal and Cheeka.

Earlier, Charuni gave an ultimatum by 5pm to police to release all the detained farmers.

In Jhajjar, farmers blocked Delhi-Rohtak highway at Jakhoda bypass near Tikri border in protest against Karnal cane-charge.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has condemned the lathicharge and referred it to an inhuman act of the police. “Farmers were protesting peacefully around 15 km from the BJP’s meeting venue. It was the constitutional right of the farmers. The action shows the intention of the government seems to have already made up its mind to beat up the farmers. There should be impartial investigation into the whole incident and strict action should be taken against the erring police personnel and officials,” Hooda said.

Former leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Kiran Choudhry also condemned the lathi charge. “It is a condemnable act of the government and with this its countdown has started. The people will teach the BJP-JJP alliance a lesson in coming days. Instead of addressing the issues of the farmers, protesting on Delhi borders’ for the last nine-months, the government is using force on farmers,” Chaudhary said.

Tribune Shorts

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