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Punjab and Haryana HC to hear plea for judicial probe into Karnal lathicharge on Friday

The petition, filed against the state of Haryana and the state DGP, has also sought to look into the roles of Karnal DSP Virender Saini, CIA Inspector Harjinder Singh and other administrative and police officials.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
September 2, 2021 9:52:26 pm
Police lathi-charge protesters to break-up the stir at Bastara toll plaza, Karnal. (Express Photo)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court will on Friday take up for hearing a writ petition, moved by a group of five Karnal residents, seeking a judicial probe headed by a retired high court judge into the police lathicharge on protesting farmers in the district on August 28.

Police had resorted to lathicharge on the farmers, who were trying to reach a BJP meeting venue, allegedly after being given specific instructions by sub divisional magistrate Ayush Sinha, who was on Wednesday transferred and posted as additional secretary in the Citizen Resources Information Department.

The petitioners — Munish Lather, Ravinder, Mahender, Rohtash, and Ranbir Singh — have sought that the judicial probe look into the role of SDM Sinha who was caught on camera purportedly instructing policemen to “break heads” of protesting farmers if they breach a security cordon. A copy of the video clip of the SDM has been attached with the petition.

The petition, filed against the state of Haryana and the state DGP, has also sought to look into the roles of Karnal DSP Virender Saini, CIA Inspector Harjinder Singh and other administrative and police officials.

The petitioners, through counsel Navkiran Singh, Hakam Singh and Ajit Pal Mander, have also sought directions to the state government to provide adequate compensation to the petitioners and all the injured farmers. They have also sought directions to Punjab and Haryana governments to ban the use of bamboo lathi and instead opt for the polycarbonate lathi, which has been adopted by the Chandigarh Administration.

The plea has also sought registration of FIRs and departmental action, on the conclusion of the inquiry, against the police officials liable for giving orders to their subordinates to physically injure the farmers in the process of dispersing them.

According to the petitioners, the members of civil administration as well as police administration in Karnal had acted illegally and brutally and dealt with unarmed peaceful agitators with undue force and brutality, which has seriously jeopardised the fundamental rights of the citizens of India who have a right to demonstrate as provided under the Constitution.

It has also been alleged in the petition that the injured farmers were not provided medical aid immediately. It has also been alleged that some of the injured farmers were even threatened with not getting their X-ray examination done for reasons best known to police officials.

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