Chandigarh: Stung by the growing trickle of farmers from all over Haryana to the sit-in protests at the Karnal mini-secretariat, the BJP-led Manohar Lal Khattar government today acknowledged most of the demands put forth by farm unions over the Karnal lathicharge.
Farmer organisations had been demanding suspension of then SDM Ayush Sinha whose video ordering policemen “to smash the heads of farmers” on August 28 had sent shockwaves across the country, probe into the police lathicharge at the Bastara toll which led to several persons sustaining injuries, and compensation to the kin of Sushil Kajal, who the farmers alleged had died of head injuries.
Dilly-dallying for five days with home minister Anil Vij threatening farmers of action over protests, the Haryana government bent backward from its rigid stance to reach a consensus with the protesting organisations.
According to the consensus reached to end the deadlock, the lathicharge case will be investigated by a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Also, SDM Ayush Sinha will remain on leave for one month till the investigation is over, while two members of the family of Kajal will be given a job at “DC rate” on a sanctioned post.
Each year, the Haryana government issues various posts under the “DC (deputy commissioner)” rate job of unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled employees. The posts are mostly temporary as employees are selected for one or less than a year. The salaries paid to the employees include dearness allowance as well.
The agreement was announced in the presence of Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh, Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav, Superintendent of Police Gangaram Punia and leaders on behalf of farmer organisations, including Gurnam Singh Charuni.
While the district administration had been holding talks with the farmers to lift their sit-in demonstration outside the mini-secretariat for the past few days, it was only after the arrival of the additional chief secretary that things began moving, leading to the agreement.
“Farmers are our brothers. We have reached a respectable and amicable solution to all the demands that were raised.,” the additional chief secretary said while announcing the steps.
“The Karnal administration literally had no powers to resolve the issue. It was like the way the Centre has been treating our peaceful protests over the farm laws. The mantra had been to keep on delaying the matter. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere with nobody running out of the room to listen to diktats from officers or ministers in Chandigarh,” a farmer leader remarked.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)