Apologise For Baton Charge On Farmers: Congress To Haryana Chief Minister

The incident took place in Hisar on Sunday where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had gone to inaugurate a hospital.

Apologise For Baton Charge On Farmers: Congress To Haryana Chief Minister

Congress also alleged COVID-19 protocols were violated at the chief minister's event on Sunday (File)

Chandigarh:

Haryana's main opposition Congress Tuesday demanded Manohar Lal Khattar's apology over the alleged police lathicharge on farmers in Hisar on Sunday when they protested against the Chief Minister during the inauguration of a hospital.

They also alleged that the chief minister inaugurated the dedicated COVID-19 hospital in the presence of a large number of people, in violation of the laid down protocols to curb the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja said that Congress demands that the chief minister apologise for the ''lathicharge''.

Many other Congress leaders from the state also hit out at the Khattar government over the Hisar incident in which violent clashes took place when the protesting farmers tried to march towards the venue where Mr Khattar had gone to inaugurate the hospital.

Many people including over 20 police personnel were injured in the incident.

The police had used force when farmers tried to storm their way towards the venue when they were stopped.

After the incident on Sunday, Ms Selja had said that "rather than rolling back the farm laws, the BJP-JJP government is raining lathis on farmers."

She had also alleged that the chief minister inaugurated the hospital in the presence of a large number of people, putting them at "risk" by not following the COVID protocols.

On Tuesday, she said that Congress leaders submitted memorandums through the respective Deputy Commissioners addressed to the Governor.

Through the memorandums, it has been brought to the Governor's notice that there was alleged violation of COVID-related guidelines as well as that of Section 144 CrPC during the chief minister's visit to the inauguration event in Hisar.

The Congress, while referring to the presence of "large" number of people during the inauguration event of the hospital, has sought appropriate action in the matter.

She asked that if those at the helm do not follow COVID guidelines, when lockdown and Section 144 CrPC have been imposed in the state to check the spread of COVID-19, how common people can be expected to follow the rules?

Ms Selja said farmers have been protesting near various border points of Delhi against the Centre's new farm laws for the past six months, "but neither the Centre nor the state government is listening to them."

She said when they learnt about Mr Khattar's visit to Hisar on Sunday, they gathered there for a peaceful protest, but they got police lathis and tear gas shells in return.

Several farmers, including women farmers, sustained injuries "due to the ruthless action taken by the police at the behest of the BJP-JJP government," she alleged.

Senior Haryana Congress leaders on Tuesday also said the chief minister's "silence" even after two days of the Hisar incident "where women were beaten up mercilessly during lathicharge shows how sensitive he is towards the plight of women."

In a joint statement, former Education Minister and sitting MLA Geeta Bhukkal, MLA Shakuntala Khatak, Congress Legislature Party Chief whip Bharat Bhushan Batra and another senior leader Aftab Ahmed claimed the Hisar incident "has exposed the true face of the BJP."

"The chief minister was seen shedding crocodile tears in the Vidhan Sabha in the last session when a tractor was being pulled in a symbolic manner by a few women Congress MLAs.

"At that time, the chief minister's advisors also publicized the episode and launched a media blitz to show how emotional and sensitive the chief minister is towards the women. The chief minister must explain his silence when women were attacked, sustained head injuries, tear gas shells were fired. Where are his tears now," Mr Bhukkal asked.

Mr Khattar and other BJP leaders had in March slammed the Congress after former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda rode a tractor being pulled by some of the opposition party's women legislators to protest the rise in fuel prices.

Mr Khattar had expressed his anguish and said in the Assembly, "This treatment to women MLAs was worse than bonded labour."

Shakuntala Khatak said when she was pulling the tractor in a symbolic way, the chief minister had said that he was deeply pained.

"The State Women's Commission went a step further and had also issued a notice to the Leader of Opposition (Bhupinder Singh Hooda). Now the whole country is watching what happened in Hisar. The chief minister is not shedding any tears now, the Women's Commission is not giving any notice to anyone. Why this double character," she questioned.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)