Farmer injured at Khanauri border: Amarinder Singh condemns 'barbaric' act by Haryana Police

Singh urges CM Khattar to take strict action against the policemen

Farmers during their 'Delhi Chalo' march, near the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala | PTI Farmers during their 'Delhi Chalo' march, near the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border, in Patiala | PTI

Senior BJP leader Amarinder Singh on Sunday condemned the Haryana Police for the "barbaric act of violence" against a farmer who was injured during the ongoing farm protest at the Khanauri border.

He also urged Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar to take strict action against the policemen responsible for assaulting the farmer -- Pritpal Singh -- who is currently undergoing treatment at the PGIMER in Chandigarh.

Amarinder Singh, the former Punjab chief minister, said on X, "I strongly condemn the barbaric act of violence committed by the Haryana Police on our young farmer Pritpal Singh."

"I urge Haryana CM @mlkhattar to take strict action against the policemen who are guilty of badly beating up an unarmed youngster who was just serving langar to people," he said.

The protesting farmers on Sunday held a seminar on the WTO agreement, with farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher telling reporters at the Shambhu border that they are demanding the agriculture sector be taken out of the World Trade Organization agreement.

On February 26, the farmers will burn effigies of the WTO and also of the Centre, he said, he added.

Farmer leaders too hit out at the Haryana Police over the injuries suffered by the farmer.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said Pritpal Singh was doing "langar seva" at Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border when he was allegedly dragged by the policemen.

"He was dragged from his tractor trolley, thrashed and later admitted to a hospital in Rohtak. But we got him shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh," he said.

Pandher said Pritpal Singh has suffered multiple injuries.

"We strongly condemn the police action," he said.

Pandher further said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come forward and accept the demands of the protesting farmers so that the deadlock in talks between the Centre and farmer leaders is broken.

"The prime minister should also take action against policemen who indulge in such "barbaric acts", he said.

The fourth meeting between Union ministers and farmer leaders on February 18 ended in a stalemate.

Earlier, Shubhkaran Singh (21), a native of Bathinda, was killed in a clash in Khanauri last Wednesday when some protesters tried to head towards the barricades erected by security personnel.

Shubhkaran Singh's cremation has not taken place yet as farmer leaders are demanding that the Punjab government order the registration of an FIR against those responsible for his death.

After the seminar, Pandher claimed that the WTO agreement adversely impacts the farmers.

The seminar was held a day before trade ministers from 164 countries are scheduled to gather in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Monday to discuss a range of issues pertaining to areas such as agriculture, fisheries subsidies, and a moratorium on imposing customs duty on e-commerce trade.

"Before 1995, India used to go according to its own independent agricultural policy, but things changed when India entered WTO," said Pandher.

He said the logic being given is that if a legal guarantee on crop MSP is given, it will lead to spiralling of prices, "which we don't agree will happen".

"On the contrary, on the crops where there is no MSP, they are more costly. Till the time the government of India does not take out the agriculture sector from WTO policy, farmers of the country will not get justice," he said.

The march, spearheaded by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), was put on hold for two days after a protester was killed and around 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at Khanauri on February 21.

Two days later, the farmer leaders said the protesters will continue to camp at Khanauri and Shambhu on Punjab's border with Haryana till February 29 when the next course of action will be decided.

KMM leader Pandher has said they will announce their next course of action on February 29.

A meeting of the forums associated with the SKM (non-political) and KMM will be held on February 27 at the protest sites. A common meeting of SKM (non-political) and KMM forums will be held on February 28.

Thousands of farmers have been camping at Khanauri and Shambhu, about 200 kilometres from Delhi, along with their tractor-trolleys and trucks after their march to the national capital to press the Centre for various demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops, was stopped by security forces.

The Punjab farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

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