Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday defended police action on protesting farmers in Karnal, saying strictness was needed to maintain the law and order situation. He, however, said that the IAS officer’s choice of words was not correct.
“Although the officer’s choice of words was not correct, strictness had to be maintained to ensure the law and order situation there was kept under check,” he said at a press conference. On taking action against the officer, he said that the DGP is also looking into it.
Khattar also lashed out at his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh and other Congress leaders, accusing them of instigating farmers in Haryana.
“Hooda (Bhupinder Singh) saheb and other Congress leaders are instigating them… No one has the right to block roads indefinitely,” the Haryana CM said.
Last week, at least 10 people were injured as police lathicharged a group of farmers disrupting traffic movement on a highway in Haryana while heading towards Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting attended by Khattar, state BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar and other leaders. A video later emerged of Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha instructing the police to “break the heads” of protesting farmers if they breach barricades that were put up to block the farmers’ march.
Responding to a question on Amarinder Singh’s demand from Khattar to resign, he said, “Who is he (Capt Amarinder Singh) to demand my resignation. Instead, he should resign because he is behind the farmers’ agitation. Farmers protesting there (at Delhi borders) are from Punjab. Farmers from Haryana are not protesting at Singhu or Tikri border.”
Meanwhile, Khattar said that the government is mulling enacting a law to stop incidents of forcible conversion. He said that a law is needed to stop such incidents as there have been reports of forcible conversion in many parts of the state.
“A study has been done. A draft law will be made very soon. We will see whether to introduce it as an ordinance or table it in the Assembly,” he said.