Amid the demonstration held by the farmers in Haryana against the Centre over the farm laws, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik has once again backed farmers and critcised the BJP, demanding that Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar apologise for the "brutal" lathi charge in Karnal yesterday, in which 10 people were reported injured.
Mr Malik also demanded the suspension of a top district official after a video of him ordering cops to "crack the heads" of farmers emerged online, leading to furious protests from the opposition.
While talking to NDTV, he told, "Manohar Lal Khattar should apologise to the farmers... the Haryana Chief Minister is using sticks (lathis) on farmers. The central government did not use force... I told the top leadership not to use force," Mr Malik told.
"SDM (sub-divisional magistrate Ayush Sinha) should be fired immediately. He is not fit for the SDM post... the government is supporting him," he said, referring to the controversial video.
Further, he said, he was disappointed by the fact the government had offered no consolation to the families of farmers who have died during these protests.
"600 farmers have died (during nationwide protests that began over a year ago)... but no one from the government spoke even a word of consolation," he said.
Mr Malik, who has also served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, Bihar and Odisha, indicated he was not afraid of the government's reaction to his statements, saying: "I am not in love with this post (of Governor).
For the uninitiated, Haryana Police lathi charged the farmers after they attempted to stop a convoy carrying state BJP chief OP Dhankar from reaching the meeting. Furious farmers blocked multiple roads across Haryana yesterday to protest "brutal" police action against fellow farmers protesting a state-level meet that was being led by Mr Khattar.
The police responded with what they called "mild force", but farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni slammed the authorities for having "brutally lathi charged" peacefully protesting farmers.
A central panel last met farmers' leaders on January 22. There have been no talks since January 26, when a tractor rally in Delhi turned violent.
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