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Scores of farmers, cops injured in Hisar in lathicharge, clash

Hisar (Haryana), May 16 (MNN) Scores of farmers and policemen were injured in a clash after police lathicharged the protesters opposing Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar who had arrived in the city to inaugurate a hospital.

The farmers were also tear-gassed by the police as hundreds of them rallied in the city to register their protest. They also shouted slogans against the government and the police, and also allegedly broke through the police barricades put up to prevent them from moving forward.

The Chief Minister was in the city to inaugurate a 500-bed hospital.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said nearly 200 farmers were injured and many others arrested by the police. He said that the government was trying to suppress the farmers’ agitation through force, which won’t happen.

The Haryana Police later said in a statement in Chandigarh that 20 policemen, including five women personnel, were injured in an “attack” outside Chaudhary Devi Lal Sanjeevani Covid Hospital in Hisar.

DSP Abhimanyu Lohan was among those allegedly attacked by miscreants, who vandalised five police vehicles.

“The miscreants attacked and stoned policemen outside the hospital on the pretext of holding a protest. The injured are under treatment at the Civil Hospital. The miscreants also attacked DSP Abhimanyu Lohan under the Jindal overbridge,” a police spokesman said.

Police claimed that the miscreants first broke through the police barricade set up on the canal bridge, under the Jindal overbridge and barged into Chaudhary Devi Lal Sanjivani Hospital set up in Jindal Modern School and removed the barricades.

Police said that certain miscreants tried to run over policemen in a tractor, injuring a few policemen.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) headed by Gurnam Singh Charhuni said that all Grand Trunk Roads in Haryana were blocked from 5 pm to 7 pm in protest against the police action against the farmers.

A farmers’ panchayat also decided to gherao the Inspector General of Police of Hisar to register their protest.

Charuni warned that if the state government still did not mend its ways, farmers would gherao all police stations in Haryana on Monday. Late in the evening, he said that the plan to gherao police stations stood cancelled as the administration had decided to release all those arrested as well as the seized vehicles.

Tikait said that the police lathicharge on unarmed farmers in Haryana was “unfortunate”.

“The farmers are not afraid. I am leaving for Hisar from the Gazipur border. Lathis and bullets cannot stop the protesters,” he said in a social media post.

Over 40 unions of farmers have been protesting since November 26, 2020 against the three farm laws brought forth by the Indian government, by picketing at the Ghazipur, Tikri and other border places on the Delhi borders.

Haryana Congress tagged a video clipping in which policemen can be seen beating up a protester and chasing others and posted on Twitter: “Policemen lathicharging farmers opposing Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in a peaceful manner in Hisar is extremely shameful and condemnable. The government should shun its obstinacy and repeal all three black farm laws.

Samajwadi Party tweeted to condemn the police action. “The anti-farmer BJP government wants to suppress their land as well as their voice. The barbaric lathicharge on farmers in Haryana is the culmination of the tyranny of power against the ‘annadata’, utterly condemnable! Ever lathi blow will be accounted for.”

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