Three days after senior JJP leader Digvijay Chautala claimed that CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala talked comprehensively on “lathicharge on farmers in Pipli”, the Chief Minister insisted Monday that no lathicharge had taken place on September 10.
After a meeting between Khattar and Dushyant on September 18, Digvijay had even stated that “a probe would be carried out in a cane charging incident including strict action against those found cane charging the farmers in the videos appeared in the social media.”
However, while speaking to the journalists Monday, the Chief Minister said that “first we have to discuss what is lathicharge”.
“A lathicharge is considered when any order is issued for the same. If the situation deteriorates, the officer who has magisterial powers orders for the lathicharge. No such order was issued (during the Pipli episode).”
“Everybody has the right of self-defence. If anybody driving his tractor tries to run over a policeman, who has a danda (stick) in his hand, will the policeman not use that? He will. Is it lathicharge? It’s not lathicharge,” added the CM, who was accompanied by state BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar.
The farmer unions and opposition had alleged that the agitating farmers were lathicharged by the police when they were trying to move to the rally venue in Pipli (Kurukshetra) on September 10. However, the Chief Minister said, “Even to disperse the crowd, there is need of a strategy, hit the sticks on the road to make them run away. It’s not lathicharge. Till now there is no authentic (information) that lathicharge was ordered or it led to a big loss. This can be called an incident in which a policeman, who was in civil dress thought he was being attacked…I have also seen the video (clipping) that two tractors hit the (police) barricade. No one has the right to take law into their own hands.”
When asked about a probe into the matter, the Chief Minister said, “The probe has been done, I am conducting the probe in front of you (journalists). If one or two (policemen) hit in self-defence, then it can’t be called lathicharge. If some things happen to defuse the situation on the spot, then it’s not such a big issue which should be highlighted.”
Soon after his statement, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted that the Chief Minister was explaining the definition of “lathicharge” after the farmers were mercilessly beaten up.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij had already claimed that no lathicharge took place during the Pipli incident. However, Digvijay Chautala had gone to a village of Kurukshetra district to meet a farmer who had received injuries during the alleged lathicharge.
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