Wednesday , September 22 2021

Farmer unions hold talks with Karnal administration officials over police lathicharge; judicial probe ordered

farmers union
Image Source : PTI

Representative photo shows farmer leaders during a press conference in Chandigarh

Farm union leaders and the Karnal district administration held another round of talks today. The farmers had begun a dharna outside the district headquarters in Karnal on Tuesday against the police lathicharge on August 28. Following their fresh round of talks today, it was mutually decided that the incident will now be probed by a retired High Court judge. The probe will be completed in a month’s time, Additional Chief Secy Devender Singh said, adding, then Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha will be sent on leave during this while. 

Two family members of deceased farmer Satish Kajal, who had sustained injuries in the lathicharge and later died of a heart attack, will be compensated and will be provided jobs at DC rate on sanctioned posts, he said.

Former SDM Ayush Sinha was caught on tape allegedly telling policemen to “break heads” of farmers if they cross the line. The farmers’ union had also claimed that a farmer died after the August 28 violence, an allegation rejected by the administration.

As the farmers’ sit-in outside the Karnal district headquarters entered its fourth day on Friday, both sides said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.

“We held a discussion for four hours. Some positives have come out and another meeting will be held on Saturday,” Karnal Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav said over the phone.

Asked if the administration has agreed to any of the demands of the farmers, he said, “lt will not be right to comment anything more at this stage. Let another scheduled meeting take place first.”

However, the DC said the talks remained positive.

“Yes, there is positive development,” he said replying to another question. Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh, Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni and farmer leader Suresh Koth were among those present in the meeting.

Koth told reporters that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.

“The meeting was positive. But there are some things which we will take up in Saturday’s meeting. We are hopeful that the issues will be resolved soon,” said Koth.

However, he did not divulge details of what exactly transpired during the meeting.

“As a follow-up meeting is scheduled on Saturday, let us first wait for that,” he said.

Chaduni said, “We will also talk to other leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha and apprise them of details of today’s meeting.”

When asked if the meeting can be termed as positive, Chaduni replied in affirmative. Some senior leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha are expected to take part in the Saturday’s meeting.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government resumed mobile Internet services in the district.

On Thursday, Home Minister Anil Vij had said the government is ready for a probe into the last month’s clash between farmers and police but warned that farm leaders too could face action if they’re found to be at fault.

Vij offered an “impartial” inquiry into the “entire Karnal episode” as farmers continued their dharna outside the Karnal district headquarters demanding action over the August 28 lathicharge.

Earlier, talks between district officials and farmers had failed, after which the protesters had said they will continue their sit-in “indefinitely” at the district headquarters.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read | Ready for probe into ‘entire Karnal episode’, also action against farmers if found guilty: Anil Vij

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