Farm protester from Bathinda dead, 100 hurt as Haryana police fire tear gas, rubber bullets : The Tribune India

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Farm protester from Bathinda dead, 100 hurt as Haryana police fire tear gas, rubber bullets

Unions yet to decide on fresh talks offer | ‘Dilli Chalo’ put off for 2 days

Farm protester from Bathinda dead, 100 hurt as Haryana police fire tear gas, rubber bullets

Protesting farmers disperse after being tear-gassed by the Haryana Police at the Shambhu border. PTI

Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Shambhu, February 21

Hectic parleys between Central officials and farmer leaders spearheading the “Dilli Chalo” campaign since morning came to a standstill and turned ugly after the death of a 22-year-old farmer in action by the Haryana Police at Khanauri.

Victim Shubhkaran Singh.

Centre increases cane FRP by Rs 25 to Rs 340/quintal

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an 8 per cent hike in Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane from Rs 315 per quintal to Rs 340 per quintal. “For 2024-25, sugarcane FRP will be Rs 340 per quintal… Before 2014, farmers had to protest for fertilisers. They were not getting their dues… The Modi government is committed to double their income,” Union Minister Anurag Thakur said. — TNS

Over 100 protesters were injured, a few of them grievously, following rubber bullets and tear gas shells fired by the Haryana Police at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders.

Uphold law & order: MHA to Punjab

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued an advisory to the Punjab Government, urging it to uphold law and order amid the ongoing farmers’ agitation. It has asked the Bhagwant Mann government to take stringent action against lawbreakers.

Feb 23 ‘Black Day’: Trade unions

  • Trade unions across the country have condemned the young farmer’s death and injuries to others in police action at Khanauri, bordering Haryana. They have asked both organised and unorganised sectors to observe February 23 as ‘Black Day’, calling for nationwide protests.

The deceased farmer has been identified as Shubhkaran Singh of Balloh village in Bathinda. He received a “bullet” injury in the rear part of his head at Khanauri. “We cannot say clearly if it was a rubber bullet or an actual bullet till the post-mortem is conducted,” said a doctor at Government Rajindra Hospital, where the victim was earlier rushed for treatment. Relatives said Shubhkaran had just over two acres of landholding and was the lone brother of two sisters. His father had died a few years ago.

Meanwhile, the farm unions have delayed their “Dilli Chalo” march and said they would hold discussions for two days and take a final decision on Friday evening. “We will stay put at Shambhu and Khanauri and won’t enter Haryana. We are yet to decide on the Centre’s fresh talks offer as we are shocked over the death of the young farmer,” said a farm leader.

Earlier today, Punjab and Central Government officials held talks with farmer leaders at the Shambhu border. Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher and senior SKM (Non-Political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal remained adamant on the MSP for all crops and an announcement in this regard either by the Prime Minister or the Home Minister.

As the talks continued inside the Shambhu police post among the farm leaders and government officials over another round of meeting with Union ministers, hundreds of protesting farmers and the Haryana police were locked in an intense face-off. As farmer activists tried to go near the barricades set up at the barrier, the Haryana Police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Some tear gas shells landed near ambulances stationed some 400 metres away from the Haryana barricades. “On the one hand, the Centre is offering talks, but its own government in Haryana is ‘firing’ at our youngsters. There is no point in holding further discussions,” said Dallewal.

After marching towards the barricades around 4.30 pm, both Dallewal and Pandher had to rush back for cover when the Haryana Police fired tear gas shells.

In the evening, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh visited health facilities and met injured farmers, journalists and police personnel.

Pandher alleged that Shubhkaran Singh died of a bullet injury when the Haryana Police entered the Punjab side at Khanauri. The police damaged nearly 25 tractor-trailers, he alleged.

Meanwhile, BKU chief Balbir Singh Rajjewal and All India Kisan Federation chief Prem Singh Bhangu said if the two leaders spearheading the “Dilli Chalo” had “acted with restraint, incidents such as these could have been avoided”. “While the Haryana Government is wrong in using force, the two union leaders are equally responsible,” they said.

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