Farmers leaders met Haryana government officials today, the third time in four days, that at least 10 people were injured in a baton charge on August 28. The protesters were marching towards Karnal where senior BJP leaders had scheduled a meeting.
The use of force against the protesting farmers, in particular, caused a stir among top non-BJP leaders, including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Today, Additional Chief Secretary Devendra Singh, Colonel District Collector and Senior Senior Administrative Officers including Superintendent of Police were scheduled to meet farmer leaders like Gurnam Singh Charuni at the District Secretariat.
For the past few days, farmers have been pitching tents outside government offices in Karnal as several rounds of talks have failed.
Peasant leaders demanded the temporary dismissal of Ayush Sinha, saying “the Haryana government is protecting and promoting the assassinating officer”. The IAS officer was caught on video telling police to “break the heads of farmers”.
He was transferred, but the government refused to suspend him.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar further angered the farmers by defending Mr Sinha’s remarks.
Meanwhile, the Haryana administration had recently banned large gatherings. In addition to deploying a large number of security personnel, the government also suspended mobile phone internet and SMS services in several districts.
Farmers ‘groups such as the Indian Farmers’ Union and the Sammilita Kisan Morcha have been leading mass protests across the country over the past few months over three central agricultural laws.
Although the Center thinks these laws will be beneficial, farmers, especially people in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have refused to accept them. After several rounds of talks, the stalemate lasted for several months.