Roads in Indian Punjab choke with farmers protest

Karnal/ Bathinda, August 30 (KMS): A 45-year-old Haryana farm activist, among those allegedly assaulted by police at the Bastara toll plaza in Karnal, died late on Saturday, fanning the flames of the agitation that snowballed into a series of highway blockades across Punjab in protest against the police action.

Demanding the immediate dismissal of Karnal subdivisional magistrate Ayush Sinha, farm activists in Punjab accused him of ordering the police to “break the heads of the protesters” if they tried to remove police barricades.

At many places, effigies were burnt. The family of deceased farmer claimed he was beaten up during the police crackdown on the toll plaza protest. BKU (Charuni) general secretary Harpal Sudhal said Sushil copped several blows and suffered a heart attack later. His kin, however, cremated him without waiting for an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

BKU Ekta Ugrahan general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said the Haryana government was acting in a dictatorial manner, which was reflected in how the police allegedly attacked the farm protesters. BKU Ekta Dakaunda president Buta Singh Burjgill said BJP would have to pay for its “misdeeds” such as not acknowledging the “miseries of those sitting at the borders of Delhi for over nine months”.

“Most of those injured were not even given proper treatment. Due to pressure from the government, some of the injured farmers were discharged after first aid,” said farm leader Rakesh Tikait.