A civil officer in Haryana who was seen on camera telling policemen to "crack the heads" of farmers at a protest yesterday will face action, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said today.
A video showing Karnal Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha asking policemen to ensure farmers who were protesting against BJP leaders get "head injuries" had surfaced on social media, drawing criticism from a wide section of people including BJP MP Varun Gandhi.
"The 2018 batch IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer's video has gone viral. The officer later perhaps gave a clarification that he hadn't slept for two nights... But he should know that farmers have not slept for 365 days. Action will be taken; in his training days officers were trained to be sensitive," Mr Chautala said.
Some 10 people were injured on Saturday after the state police lathi-charged a group of farmers who had stopped traffic on a highway while heading towards Haryana's Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting, where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, state BJP chief Om Prakash Dhankar and other senior leaders were present.
In the video, Karnal's Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha is seen standing in front of a group of policemen and instructing them that no protesting farmer should go beyond a certain barricade in the area.
"It is very simple and clear, whoever he is, wherever he is from, no one should be allowed to reach there. We will not let this line be breached at any cost. Just pick up your lathi and hit them hard... It's very clear, there is no need for any instruction, just thrash them hard. If I see a single protester here, I want to see his head smashed, crack their heads," Mr Sinha is heard saying in the video.
"Any doubt?" the SDM added in the end.
"No sir," the group of policemen shouted.
On hearing about the police action in Karnal, farmers in other districts also came out in large numbers and blocked highways in solidarity. This led to huge traffic jams on key highways connecting cities like Delhi and Chandigarh for most part of the day on Saturday. The roads were opened for traffic again in late evening.
The police said only mild force was used as the protesters were blocking the highway and stopping traffic.