A week-long stalemate between farmers and the BJP government in Haryana was finally resolved today as demonstrators called off their protest over IAS officer Ayush Sinha's controversial "crack their (farmers) heads" remark that he made last month.
Both the sides agreed on a month-long probe by a former judge against the IAS officer and that he will remain on a leave during this period.
High drama unfolded in Karnal over the last week as large gatherings were banned and mobile internet services were suspended to contain the farmers' protest. Demands were raised to dismiss Mr Sinha after he was caught on camera, making the comments that sparked massive outrage.
Ayush Sinha, who was the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Karnal, was removed from his post as the controversy blew up.
Ten people were injured on August 28 Haryana police lathi-charged farmers who blocked a highway while on way to Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting attended by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Soon after, Mr Sinha's video had surfaced.
Later, at a press conference, the Chief Minister said, "Although the officer's (Ayush Sinha) choice of words was not correct, strictness had to be maintained to ensure law and order situation there was kept under check."
"We will probe entire Karnal episode... not just Ayush Sinha. We can't punish officers without a probe," he said, adding, "If farmer leaders are found guilty we will also take action against them," the state's Home Minister Anil Vij said earlier this week.
When several rounds of talks had remained inconclusive earlier, farmers had threatened long haul protest, saying they might have to keep a permanent protest site in Karnal.
"We may have a permanent protest like Singhu and Tikri border here," said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait. He, however, added that they do not want the ongoing protests at the Delhi border to get "disturbed by this one".
Today, the state government also assured protesters that two family members of the farmer who died after the August 28 police lathicharge will be given a job.
Farmers have been protesting at Delhi border and Uttar Pradesh over three contentious farm laws.