Congress, farm leaders condemn lathi-charge on protesting farmers in Karnal, term it brutal

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Lathicharge at farmers in Karnal (Photo/ANI)
Lathicharge at farmers in Karnal (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], August 28 (ANI): Congress leaders condemned lathi-charge by Haryana Police on protesting farmers at Karnal's Bastara toll plaza on Saturday, and termed the incident as 'brutal'.

Taking to the microblogging site, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said the lathi charge was "absolutely unwarranted". "Despite the peaceful protest by farmers, the police launched a lathi charge on them resulting into many farmers getting injured. I strongly condemn this incident," he wrote.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that India's head hangs in shame as the farmers of the nation bleed. Gandhi posted a picture of a farmer bleeding and said in Hindi, "Again the blood of the farmers is being shed, India's head has been bent in shame!"

Further, Punjab Chief Minister's Office issued a statement slamming Haryana's move. "Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has slammed his Haryana counterpart for unleashing brazen brutality of the police on the peacefully protesting farmers, many of whom were injured in the lathi-charge," the statement read.

Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav also condemned the lathi charge and said that it exposed the true face of the Haryana Police. "They (farmers) were protesting against the visit of CM Khattar and other BJP leaders to Karnal. This is the true face of Haryana police," Yadav tweeted.

Referring to the BJP-JJP regime as the "General Dyer government", Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a tweet said, "CM-Dy CM's conspiracy to attack farmers in Karnal is clear from the orders of the Duty Magistrate, who is ordering the police to break the heads of farmers and lash them with sticks. BJP-JJP is the 'General Dyer' government."

"Khattar Sahib, Today in Karnal sticks have been blown on the soul of every Haryanvi. The oppression of the sinful BJP government that bleeds farmers is like demons. The coming generations will remember the blood from farmers' bodies flown on the streets," he said in another tweet.

"Guru Modi ji inaugurated the Jallianwala Bagh light and sound show in Punjab today and disciple Khattar ji got the General Dyer-like barbaric act live telecast by lathi-charging the farmers in Karnal," he added.

Meanwhile, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said that obstructing official work is against democracy. "If they wanted to protest, they should've done it peacefully. If they jam highways and throw stones at police, then police will also take steps to maintain law and order. We'll look into it and take necessary action," he added.

To protest against the baton-charge of the farmers in Haryana's Karnal, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait called for blocking all the roads till 5 pm in the state.

"Today, in protest against the lathi-charge in Karnal, Haryana, all the roads will be blocked till 5:00 pm. The government's target is the Kisan Mahapanchayat organized in Muzaffarnagar on September 5, it wants that the people of Haryana should not be able to attend the Mahapanchayat, all of you should pay attention to these things," Tikait tweeted.

Following his call, the Surajpur Toll Plaza (Kalka-Zirakpur Highway) had been blocked by protesting farmers, Commissionerate of Panchkula informed in a tweet.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was scheduled to attend an event in Karnal today. Farmers gathered in large numbers in the area to protest against his visit and against the three farm laws. To stop the farmers moving towards the programme venue, police lathi-charged them, leading to several farmers sustaining injuries. (ANI)

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