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Karnal Farmer Protest Ends, Judicial Probe Announced in August 28 Lathicharge

Farmer leaders in Karnal while announcing end of their protest. (News18)

Farmer leaders in Karnal while announcing end of their protest. (News18)

The Haryana Police had on August 28 lathi-charged a group of farmers disrupting traffic on the national highway while heading towards the venue of a BJP meeting.

After five days of intense back and forth, the deadlock over the farmers protests in Karnal was finally resolved with the crop growers agreeing to a probe into August 28 lathi-charge by a retired judge. They also agreed to government jobs for kin of the farmer killed in the violent clash between police and protesters during a BJP event in the district.

After several rounds of meeting between the protesters and the authorities, a decision in favour of ending the deadlock was being hint at by late Friday, However, a formal announcement came at a joint press conference addressed by Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh and farmer leader Gurnam Singh Charuni.

“We have decided to order an inquiry by a retired judge and the probe will be completed within a month," said the ACS. The government has also decided to provide jobs to the family members of the deceased farmer Sushil Kajal, who the farmers claimed had received injuries during the lathi-charge. But what was being seen as a major face save for the government was that it stood firmly against the demand for suspension of the former SDM Ayush Sinha as a pre-condition for lifting the dharna.

Sinha, however, will remain on leave till the inquiry is completed. Charuni said that the farmers were satisfied with the offer of judicial probe and other steps taken by the administration. “We came here after the consent of all the Samyukt Kisan Morcha leaders with whom we had discussed proposal of the government," Charuni said.

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The government, however, was yet to decide on the demand of the farmers to provide compensation to those injured in the lathi-charge. The administration has told the farmers that financial assistance to injured will be given after investigation and verification of the injured.

The Haryana Police had on August 28 lathi-charged a group of farmers disrupting traffic on the national highway while heading towards the venue of a BJP meeting.

Over 10 protesters were injured. Later, a protesting farmer had died who the SKM claimed was a result of the police action. The SKM had demanded murder case registered Sinha over his alleged “break heads” remark.

Sinha, who was later transferred in a reshuffle also involving some other IAS officers. He is presently posted as the additional secretary in the Citizen Resources Information Department.

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first published:September 11, 2021, 12:59 IST