FEELING “BETRAYED” by the registration of an FIR against farm protesters after a clash between them and police at Hisar on May 16, farmers have announced a protest in front of the divisional commissioner’s office on Monday.
The farmers are scheduled to move to the commissioner’s office after gathering at Krantiman Park of Hisar at 10 am on Monday. Meanwhile, sources said that heavy police deployment is underway around the commissioner’s office and a wall is being erected as well. “The wall is being erected at an abandoned spot adjoining the open space behind the parking lot. It is not an entry point, but it can be used to gain entry,” said a source.
On May 16, a group of farmers — who had gone to protest at a venue where Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was to inaugurate a Covid facility in Hisar — entered into a clash with police, in which dozens from both sides were injured.
The police alleged that the protesters tried to hit them with their tractors and pelted stones, claiming that around 20 personnel had received injuries in the incident.
Dozens of farmers, including women, had also received injuries, with farm leaders alleged that policemen even threw stones at them. “An FIR should be registered against the policemen who had thrown stones at the protesters,” said Chaduni.
Later that day, the farmers had gheraoed the residence of the Hisar IGP, alleging that police used lathicharge on them. However, the dharna was lifted after a dialogue between the farmer leaders and administrative officers. While sharing details of a “compromise”, the farmer leaders had claimed that no complaint will be lodged by either side.
However, two days later, BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni claimed: “We have been betrayed as we were not told during the talks that an FIR has been lodged against the agitators.” On their part, the police claimed they had not given any assurance on the issue of FIR. An officer said they did not contradict the statements of farmer leaders on May 16 to avoid unrest.
The FIR was registered against 350 protesters including local farmer leaders under 11 sections of the IPC including 307 (attempt to murder).
On Sunday, the Hisar district administration again invited the farmers for talks. “It’s necessary that, during the tough phase of pandemic, the farmer agitation be resolved through dialogue in a peaceful manner,” the administration said in a statement.
Farmer leaders have given a call for a strong protest in Hisar on Monday. Residents of some neighbouring villages have also announced “boycott of Covid lockdown” to register their protest against the alleged police lathicharge on protesters including on women on May 16.
Chaduni said: “If the government doesn’t accept our demands, an announcement will be made for the next programme from the protest venue itself on Monday and the government will be responsible for it.”