Haryana Police has booked state Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni and several farmers for attempt to murder and rioting, officials said on Saturday. Besides Ambala district, hundreds of farmers have been booked for rioting, unlawful assembly, obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, damage to public property and provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in Panipat, Rohtak, Kaithal, Sirsa and other districts.
The Opposition Congress claimed that over 20,000 farmers in Haryana have been booked by police for various violations during the Delhi Chalo march. In Ambala, a case was registered against Charuni and others on November 26 under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing any public servant in discharge of public functions), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 307 (attempt to murder) at the Parao police station on a complaint from Head Constable Pardeep Kumar.
The FIR names Charuni and several other unknown farmers as accused. According to it, the Haryana BKU chief and others had gathered near Mohra village in Ambala. The FIR says Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Kumar, who was leading the police team at the spot, asked Charuni not to proceed further but he refused.
It adds that Charuni and other farmers broke police barricades with their tractors. Some of the police officials had a narrow escape and could have been run over by the tractors heading towards Delhi, says the FIR.
Charuni and other farmers also violated guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it further states. In Ambala, a youth who climbed a water cannon to turn it off, was also booked on various charges.
A case against some farmers from the BKU (Charuni) and others from Punjab was also registered at Panipat for violations relating to breaking police barriers and other charges. “A case has been registered under the provisions of Section 188 of the IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other provisions of the IPC," Inspector Rajvir Singh, SHO of Panipat’s Police Station (Industrial) in Sector 29, said over the phone.
Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala condemned the registration of cases against more than 20,000 farmers. In a statement, Surjewala said the Congress Party will extend full legal help to farmers who have been booked in false cases.
He claimed it was condemnable that a youth protester in Ambala, who had climbed a water cannon to turn it off, has been booked under attempt to murder charge. He condemned the BJP-JJP government for allegedly placing boulders, multiple steel barricades, getting patches of roads dug, using water cannons and tear gas to block the farmers’ march.
Two days ago, Haryana Director General of Police Manoj Yadava had said the state police acted with “great restraint" as farmers broke barricades during their march. He said the farmers took an aggressive stand and tried to disturb law and order by pelting police with stones at several places.
Some police personnel sustained injuries, police and private vehicles were damaged, Yadava had said. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed in several parts of Haryana to prevent the assembly of people.
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana are marching to Delhi as part of their protest against the Centre’s farm laws. They said the laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.