In Haryana’s Karnal, where farmers have planned another mega gathering on Tuesday, bans have been imposed banning large gatherings. Tension reigns in the area, the site of the August 28 violence that infuriated farmers.
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Demands have been made for the dismissal of Ayush Sinha, the IAS officer from Karnal, whose instruction to police to “crack heads” – captured on camera – has sparked outrage.
Farmers’ unions have given September 6 as a deadline for strong action, including filing a murder case, against the official.
Ayush Sinha, who was the sub-divisional magistrate of Karnal, has been removed from office.
In a statement, Samyukt Kisan Morcha – the umbrella organization of farmers’ unions – expressed what it called “deep shock and objection to the prime minister’s defense of a murderous official in Haryana”.
Farmers protesting the Center’s farm laws held a mega-meeting today, where they decided to oppose the BJP in the state elections in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which are scheduled for next year.
About 8,000 security personnel were deployed to maintain order at the meeting in UP’s Muzaffarnagar, attended by Rakesh Tikait and other farmer leaders.
“Such gatherings will be held all over the country. We must prevent the land from being sold… Farmers, workers and youth must be able to live,” said Rakesh Tikait.
The Uttar Pradesh BJP accused the organizers of political motives. “Political workers from Punjab and Haryana were brought for the event. They (organizers) use peasants only for their political interest,” said UP BJP spokesman Alok Awasthi.
On August 28, about 10 people were injured when Haryana police charged farmers who blocked a highway as they headed to Karnal to protest a BJP rally attended by Prime Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Shortly afterwards, the video surfaced of Ayush Sinha instructing the police to “crack heads”.
Later, at a press conference, Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar said: “Although the word choice of the officer (Ayush Sinha) was not correct, strictness had to be enforced to ensure that law and order was kept under control there”.