SYL canal protest: INLD supporters lathi charged by police at Jantar Mantar

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Delhi | Published: March 15, 2017 5:07:29 PM

During a protest by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday on the long-standing issue of Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal police lathi-charged the supporters after they threatened to breach the peace.

The protest was planned after a Supreme Court judgement last month where it said that it is unconstitutional for the Punjab state government to terminate a water sharing agreement with other states. (ANI)

During a protest by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday on the long-standing issue of Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal police lathi-charged the supporters after they threatened to breach the peace. The protest was planned after a Supreme Court judgement last month where it said that it is unconstitutional for the Punjab state government to terminate a water sharing agreement with other states. While the judgement brought a smile on the face of Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, it clearly left the SAD-BJP led government in Punjab disappointed.

However, looking to grab the initiative quickly, INLD leader, Abhay Chautala had said that his men will dig the SYL canal themselves if need be and they may even call in the Army to ensure it happens.

He had said that over 6,800 panchayats (village councils) had submitted memorandums to the INLD seeking construction of the SYL canal, PTI reported. “We will submit these to the Prime Minister and demand immediate construction of the canal. Getting water through the SYL is Haryana’s right and we are not begging for it from anyone,” Chautala, who mobilised support from party workers and public in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar and Jind districts on Monday, said Chautala, who is the Leader of Opposition in Haryana.

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He blamed the SAD-BJP government for not doing anything on the issue. Punjab has chosen a new government recenlty, but State Congress President Amarinder Singh warned that the construction of the controversial Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to provide water to neighbouring Haryana can trigger the return of Khalistani terrorism in this border state, News 18 reported. The INLD, whose leadership was once close to the Akali Dal in Punjab, had snapped ties last year on the SYL issue.

Both states are in the midst of a political and legal war over water sharing through the SYL canal, which has remained at the centre of controversy for four decades without a drop of water actually flowing in the canal.

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