Outraged Farmers Block Roads in Haryana after Several Wounded in Police Attack

The farmers protested the alleged lathicharge by police on them in Karnal, Haryana. — Twitter photo

Traffic disruptions reported in Hisar, Jind, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Dadri, Fatehabad and Ambala

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Protesting farmers were baton charged in Haryana’s Karnal and “hundreds” arrested elsewhere in the state on Saturday. According to reports, several of them sustained injuries. The farmers were protesting against a meeting on the upcoming municipal polls chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the afternoon.

Tension gripped the national highway in Karnal, especially near Bastara toll plaza, where the clash took place. Reacting to the police highhandedness, Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (Haryana unit) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni called for blocking all highways in the state to protest the use of force against the farmers.

“We slammed the state BJP government for using police force on farmers. I request all farmers to come out and block all highways in the state,” Charuni said.

Reports of traffic disruption were received from Hisar, Jind, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Dadri, Fatehabad and Ambala.

The traffic bound for New Delhi from Amritsar was disrupted on the Shambu border in Punjab. Also, the traffic bound for Uttar Pradesh via Ambala and Yamunanagar towns was impacted.

Rahul Condemns ‘brutal’ police action

The attack on the farmers drew sharp reactions from the opposition. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi condemned “brutal” police action against farmers. Through a tweet in Hindi, he underline the country’s “shame” over a lathicharge that left several people injured.

He also tweeted a horrifying photograph – of a man whose white kurta pajama was splattered with blood, and who was holding a bloodied cloth to tend to wounds on his head. The man is being led away by two others, who are not in the frame.

“Again the blood of farmers is shed… and India bows its head in shame,” Gandhi said in the tweet.

An injured farmer after the police lathicharge at Bastara toll plaza near Karnal on Saturday. — HT Photo

Leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body under which farmer groups have been staging protests against the farm laws, Darshan Pal, urged farmers to carry out a road blockade at 5 pm and called for the release of those who were arrested during the clash.

Congress leader and two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda condemned the lathicharge. “The action on farmers at Karnal is undemocratic and inhuman. Everyone has the right to protest in a democracy. Governments are not run with fear of the bullet but by winning hearts,” Hooda said in a tweet.

The BJP government and its leaders, mainly in Punjab and Haryana, have been facing farmers’ ire against the three contentious agriculture laws that have triggered widespread protests, particularly on the borders of the national capital, where farmers have been protesting since November-end.

— With input from IANS


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