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Five Held for Attack on Haryana Deputy Speaker's Car, FIR Mentions Sedition

Police said the arrests were made after they were identified based on the video footage.

Police said the arrests were made after they were identified based on the video footage.

The incident had taken place on Sunday and police had booked over 100 people, mostly unidentified.

The Sirsa police on Thursday arrested five people days after lodging an FIR, which included a sedition charge, over an alleged attack on the Haryana deputy speaker’s car during a farmers’ protest. The incident had taken place on Sunday and police had booked over 100 people, mostly unidentified, for sedition, obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty, murderous attempt on an elected representative and damaging public property.

Meanwhile, to protest the arrests, a group of farmers sat on a dharna near Baba Bhuman Shah Ji Chowk in Sirsa, demanding that they be released. Police, however, said the arrests were made after they were identified based on the video footage of the incident.

Five protesters have been arrested. We analysed the video footage of the incident in the past two days. The pictures were magnified and later based on the evidence, the five who were identified have been arrested, Sirsa Superintendent of Police Dr Arpit Jain told PTI over the phone.

He said more people who were present near the site on Sunday have been identified and further action will depend on to what extent their involvement.

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Earlier, the state government had taken a serious view of the incident, replacing Sirsa district police chief Bhupender Singh with Dr Arpit Jain while suspending an Inspector-rank official.

Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa had told reporters in Chandigarh on Tuesday that those who pelted his vehicle with stones on Sunday cannot be called farmers. “They cannot be called farmers. I can say those who attacked looked like addicts…,” he had said.

Farmers carrying black flags had assembled outside Chaudhary Devi Lal University in Sirsa on Sunday during the day and raised slogans against the government. While Gangwa, who is a BJP MLA from Nalwa in Hisar, was coming out of the varsity after attending a function, protesters targeted his car, police had said. Despite heavy police presence, some managed to surround the vehicle and banged against it with their hands. Gangwa’s vehicle was pelted with stones as police were trying to escort it out of the area. Gangwa had escaped unhurt in the incident, police had said.

Farmers protesting the Centre’s farm laws have been opposing public functions of the BJP and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) in the state. Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi’s borders for over seven months in protest against the Centre’s three farm laws..

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first published:July 15, 2021, 21:26 IST