Congress Calls For Judicial Probe into Haryana Police's Lathicharge on Farmers

Another party delegation submitted a memorandum to the NHRC in Delhi demanding action against the Karnal SDM.

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Chandigarh: A delegation of Congress MLAs on Tuesday met Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, seeking a judicial probe into the lathicharge on farmers and requested him not to give his nod to the land acquisition Bill passed by the state assembly recently.

Meanwhile, another party delegation submitted a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Delhi demanding action against the Karnal SDM who ordered lathi charge against farmers. The delegation also demanded compensation for the victims.

In another development, Haryana chief secretary on Tuesday sought a detailed report from the Karnal deputy commissioner after protesters blocked a national highway and police used force to disperse them.

The state police had lathicharged a group of farmers disrupting traffic movement on a highway while heading towards Karnal in Haryana to protest against a BJP meeting on August 28.

The Congress delegation led by the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, also submitted to the Governor a video of an official, in which he is seen telling police to break farmers’ heads, according to a statement.

Submitting a memorandum, Hooda reiterated his demand for a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court or a retired judge into the lathicharge incident, in which around 10 farmers were injured.

Also read: The Bias Against the Indian Farmer Is a Deep and Troubling One

On the issue of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Congress delegation urged the Governor not to give his approval to it and send it back to the Haryana Assembly for reconsideration.

Hooda had earlier said the Haryana government has delivered another blow to the rights of farmers through the Bill, with the Congress demanding that it be either withdrawn or referred to a select committee.

“This Bill is anti-farmer, anti-poor and undemocratic. The Bill was passed hurriedly without a detailed discussion in the House,” Hooda told the Governor.

Hooda said the new Bill will hurt interests of farmers who are already agitating against Centre’s agriculture laws for the past nine months.

He claimed that provisions safeguarding interests of farmers have been taken away.

All provisions of the old Land Acquisition Act, such as the consent of farmers, the procedure for prior notice and giving residential plots with compensation in lieu of land, have been done away in the new Bill, Hooda said.

Earlier talking to reporters here before meeting the Governor, the former chief minister commented on the completion of 2,500 days of the BJP-led government, alleging, “Both terms of the BJP government have been full of failures. Then what is the government celebrating?”

“Is the government celebrating the fact that it has made Haryana number one in unemployment, crime, drugs, scams, farmer protests and pollution,” he asked.

“Is the government celebrating the fact that it got the farmers beaten up with sticks? Is it being celebrated that the farmer is sitting on the streets today? Is it celebrating the fact that today the state has got a debt of Rs 2.5 lakh crore,” he asked.

Meanwhile, another delegation of Haryana Congress leaders led by party general secretary Vivek Bansal, who is incharge of Haryana affairs at the AICC, submitted a memorandum to the NHRC in Delhi regarding the lathicharge.

Bansal told mediapersons that they demanded that the officer who directed such a barbaric lathicharge on the farmers be suspended.

The government should publicly apologise for this act and find a way to fulfil demands of the farmers, he said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving the slogan of ‘atmanirbhar’ but on the other hand the government is ordering lathi-charge on farmers’ who have actually made the country self-reliant,” said Bansal.

Vivek Bansal was accompanied by Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja, Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda and other senior leaders, including Kiran Choudhary and Ajay Singh Yadav.