‘They had to lathi-charge’: Dushyant Chautala defends police action on protesting farmers in Karnal

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Updated: August 31, 2021 3:21 PM

Dushyant Chautala said those trying to attack will not be welcomed with garland and that the police's job was to maintain law and order. 

Dushyant Chautala said those trying to attack will not be welcomed with garland and that the police's job was to maintain law and order. 

Defending the police crackdown on agitating farmers in Haryana’s Karnal on Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Tuesday said those trying to attack will not be welcomed with garland and that the police’s job was to maintain law and order.

“Video of police facing attacks has surfaced. You won’t welcome anyone with garland if they try to attack you, they had to lathi-charge. Police’s job is to maintain law and order. We’ve made sure there’s no use of excessive force in last nine months,” Chautala was quoted by news agency ANI.

The remarks amid the farmers protesting the police action in Karnal on Saturday in which 10 farmers were injured who had gathered on several toll plazas. On Saturday and Sunday, the agitators blocked national and state highways and burned effigies to protest the police lathicharge.

A day after the police action in Karnal, a farm union leader accused police of causing death to a farmer, allegedly injured in the lathi-charge, but Karnal Inspector General of Police Mamta Singh refuted the allegation, saying that he died of natural causes.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has also defended the police action against protesting farmers in Karnal, saying they promised a peaceful protest but hurled stones at police and blocked highways.

Chautala also asked the protesters to focus on regular talks, instead of chaos, if they wanted to work for the benefit of farmers. “If intention is to create chaos, then it is different. But if intention is to work for farmers and farm laws, then they must have regular talks. Where are those 40 people who said MSP and markets won’t exist and lands will be occupied?” he asked.

Chautala too condemned farmers’ violence in Karnal but promised action against a duty magistrate who was caught on camera telling police to “break farmers’ heads” during their protest.

Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on September 25. In a statement, the farmers’ union spearheading the movement said that SKM National Convention held at Singhu Border has decided to form “joint committees of the SKM in all states and districts in India to ensure a pan-India expansion and intensification of the farmers’ struggle”.

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