Farmer leaders blame Centre for 'attack' on protesters, claim 60 injured in tear gas shelling

Farmers from Punjab faced tear gas shells at two border points

Farmer leaders at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border during farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march | PTI Farmer leaders at the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border during farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' march | PTI

Farmer leaders on Tuesday blamed the Centre for the "attack" on protesters marching towards Delhi and claimed that 60 of them were injured as police used tear gas shells at Punjab-Haryana border points.

Farmers from Punjab faced tear gas shells, some of them dropped by a drone, at two border points as they tried to break past barricades set up by the Haryana Police to stop them from heading to the national capital.

Police hurled tear gas shells, and the protesters hurled stones, at the Shambhu border near Ambala. Tear gas was also used against protesters at the border between the two states in Haryana's Jind district.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher at Shambhu border told reporters, "In the history of India, today is a black day. It is shameful the way the Modi government attacked farmers and farm labourers."

"Even today, we say we are farmers and labourers of the country and we do not want any fight," Pandher said, as he reiterated farmers' demands of a legal guarantee to the minimum support price and debt waiver.

He said farmers were compelled to resort to come out on roads and march to Delhi when nobody heard them and claimed their agitation has been peaceful. "It is evening now. We will ask our youth that there should be a ceasefire from both sides. Tomorrow we will see again."

Another farmer leader, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, claimed that around 60 young farmers were injured in the police action.

"Today, farmers wanted to go to the national capital and carrying out such an attack on them ... around 60 youths got injured," claimed Dallewal, who represents Samyukta Kisan Mocha (Non-Political).

He also accused the Centre of not showing any seriousness to their demands.

"We want to put forth our views. There are no new demands and these are commitments made the government," he said.

Referring to Union Minister Arjun Munda's statement that a consensus was reached on most of their demands during the meeting on Monday, Dallewal said not even a single demand was accepted.

Another farmer leader, Surjit Singh Phool, claimed that the Haryana security personnel hurled "thousands" of tear gas shells at protesters for more than eight hours.

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