New Delhi: Hours after Haryana Police lathicharged a group of protesting farmers injuring around 10, the farmers blocked several roads and highways, including toll plazas, at different places in protest of 'police brutality'.
The farmers were protesting a BJP meet chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the forthcoming panchayat polls when the incident tookplace on Saturday. Several protesters at the site near Haryana's Bastara toll plaza claimed to witness the action by Karnal police which left 8-10 people injured.
Though, Karnal police IG Mamta Singh clarified that mild force was used and there were incidents of stone pelting. "We used mild force because they were blocking the highway. Some stones were also pelted towards the police. Mild force was used to disperse the protesters," she was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), who are protesting against three farm laws at the Delhi border, had given the call for road and toll plaza blockade till 5 pm on Saturday to protest police action and the detaining of some farmers by Karnal police, senior Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal said.
On Saturday, several commuters were left stranded at highways routes for hours. The affected roads include the Fatehabad-Chandigarh, Gohana-Panipat, Jind-Patiala highways, Ambala-Kurukshetra, the Delhi highway near Karnal, Hisar-Chandigarh and Kalka-Zirakpur national highways. The toll plazas in Karnal, Kurukshetra, Panchkula, Fatehabad, Yamunanagar, Jind, Hisar, Rohtak and others were blocked.
The use of force by the police invited severe criticism from various political parties. Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala condemned the attack and dubbed the BJP-JJP regime in Haryana as the "General Dyer government".