The police Wednesday used water cannons on farmers at Sirsa when they were staging a protest against local BJP MP Sunita Duggal and local Haryana Lokhit Party MLA Gopal Kanda, who is also supporting the BJP-JJP alliance in the state. The farmers protested for almost four hours even as they confronted with policemen.
The protest was in connection with their announcement of social boycott of BJP-JJP leaders in Haryana over the issue of three contentious farm laws.
Holding black flags in hands, the farmers had gone to stage a protest against Duggal and Kanda at 10 am when the two were scheduled to go to the office of local municipal council where the election for the chairperson of the civic body was scheduled. As many as 300 policemen were deployed to form a strong human wall to prevent farmers from moving to the office of the civic body.
“We had gone to hold a peaceful protest there but the police stopped us at a distance from the MC office by putting up barricades. We were urging the police to allow us to move near the MC office. When the farmers tried to break the barricades, the police resorted to lathicharge and used water cannons on us. Around seven-eight farmers have suffered injuries in the incident,” said a local farmer leader, Lakhvinder Singh.
However, Sirsa SP Bhupender Singh claimed that no force was used against farmers except water cannons for “two minutes”. “The farmers were pulling down the barricades while trying to reach near the polling station. We requested them that the election was taking place following the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court,” he told The Indian Express, adding that nobody suffered injuries in the incident.
Reacting to the incident, MLA Kanda claimed that the protesters were not actual farmers but were interested in politics. “The farmers should directly hold dialogue with the Prime Minister and Chief Minister because every dispute can be resolved with dialogue,” he said. MP Duggal said, “I had gone to the office of civic body with municipal councillors. I did not see any protest there. I came to know through the media only. The police might have used force when some people showed indiscipline.” The HLP’s Reena Sethi won the election for the post of MC chairperson securing 17 votes against 15 votes of the BJP’s Suman Bamnia.
On Tuesday, the farmers had surrounded Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini in Shahabad town while raising slogans against him.
The police arrested four persons on the charge of attempt to murder in connection with the incident.