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Politics

Punjab: Farmer Leaders Charged With Attempt to Murder After Protesters Assault BJP MLA

Arun Narang's kurta-pyjama was reportedly ripped, and he claims a black liquid was thrown at him by the protesters.

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Punjab faced farmers’ wrath on Saturday, as the protests against the contentious new farm laws entered their fourth month.

A BJP MLA in Punjab was allegedly hit and his shirt torn off by a group of farmers at Malout in Muktsar district on Saturday, police said. Abohar MLA Arun Narang had gone to Malout to address a press conference, which was strongly opposed by the farmers.

Narang’s kurta-pyjama was reportedly ripped, and he claims a black liquid was thrown at him by the protesters.

Meanwhile, BJP state vice-president Parveen Bansal was gheraoed by protesters in Barnala and had to remain inside the circuit house for some time, Indian Express reported.

BJP leaders in Punjab are facing the ire of farmers demanding the withdrawal of the Centre’s three new agricultural laws for the last four months. The agitating farmers have even disrupted programmes of BJP leaders on a few occasions.

FIR against farmer leaders, others

According to the Indian Express, police have filed an FIR on charges on attempt to murder and rioting, among others, against seven persons, including Bharatiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur) member Nirmal Singh Jasseana and BKU Sidhupur president Sukhdev Singh Burabujar, besides 200 unidentified persons.

Jasseana has reportedly been seen in videos of the incident, giving a speech in a microphone.

Also read: As Leaders Quit or Refuse to Campaign Due to Farm Laws, Punjab BJP Is in a Fix

Darshan Pal, coordinator of the umbrella farmers’ organisation Samyukta Kisan Morcha, condemned the violence but also accused BJP leaders and their allies of inciting farmers, according to the Indian Express.

“I have got audio and video clips from many people in which BJP leaders are seen instigating the protesting farmers. We had organised a Bharat Bandh in a peaceful manner. We warn the BJP not to instigate the farmers. In the present incident, a few of the protesters were uncontrollable, but the reason behind it needs to be understood… the BJP is troubling farmers. After January 22, the government has not come forward for any talks,” the newspaper quoted BKU (Dakaunda) president Jagmohan Singh Patiala as saying.

BJP leaders stage protest

Several Punjab BJP leaders staged a sit-in outside the official residence of chief minister Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh on Sunday to protest the attack on Narang.

Punjab governor V.P. Singh Badnore also condemned the attack on Narang and sought a report from the Congress-led government in this regard. The governor called up Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, who holds the home portfolio, and conveyed his serious concern over the incident.

Badnore condemned the incident after a delegation of Punjab BJP leaders led by state unit chief Ashwani Sharma and Union minister Som Parkash called on him and submitted a memorandum.

After meeting the Punjab governor over the incident on Sunday morning, BJP leaders led by state party unit chief Ashwani Sharma headed to the chief minister’s residence.

A few BJP leaders even took off their shirts as a mark of protest. The protesters raised slogans against the Congress government in Punjab, alleging that law and order has completely broken down in the state.

Singh had on Saturday strongly condemned the attack on Narang and also warned of strict action against anyone trying to disturb peace in the state.

(With PTI inputs)