A day after at least 50 people were injured in a farmer-police clash here,there was an uneasy calm in Rewari on Monday. The clash broke out after a mahapanchayat was organised by the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti on Sunday over the issue of land acquisition. Two farmers suffered gunshot injuries. Of the injured,40 were policemen. The most critical of them is ASI Hanuman Singh,whose face was smashed by protesting farmers.
Hanuman Singhs condition is serious,he has been put on life support. His temple bone is broken and his face has been damaged, said Dr Ravi Ranjan at the H-way Hospital. My father was attacked by the farmers because he was driving the water cannon vehicle, said Singhs son Dharamveer (24).
Injured policemen and farmers have been admitted to this only super speciality hospital. The two farmers with gunshot injuries are also recuperating here.
Doctors say that Om Prakash (45),a former sarpanch,was lucky that the bullet did not damage his spine or any other vital organ after passing through his abdomen; he has a scattered colon. Another farmer,Satbir Singh,was hit in the abdominal muscle. Both are stable now, Dr Ranjan said.
Nearly 4,500 farmers had gathered at Asalwas village for a mahapanchayat to decide on their course of action to counter the governments plan of acquiring land for an industrial estate. While the farmers say it was the police who first resorted to violence,forcing them to retaliate,police officials say it was the farmers who pelted stones on being asked to clear the National Highway-8,which the protesters had blocked.
Despite repeated requests to lift the blockade,they did not pay any heed and resorted to violence. They were armed with rods,sticks,stones. The duty magistrate present on the spot ordered the police to first use tear gas shells and water cannons. When there was not let up in violence,the police was forced to fire, a police official said.
Five vehicles,including state transport buses,a fire brigade vehicle,were set afire by the protestors. The police post at Kasola was burnt and looted. The farmers held some policemen captive for some time,said a police official.
The government is resorting to violence to force us to give away our land at throwaway prices. Paying Rs 17 lakh for an acre is cheating. Their plan is to acquire 3,800 acres,we will not agree to it, said Dharampal Singh,sarpanch of Asalwas. He alleged that Rewari Deputy Commissioner C G Rajnikanthan has threatened with dire consequences if any violence is repeated.
Superintendent of Police Abhishek Garg said: The farmers had attacked the police. We appeal to the community not to take law in their hands. Many of our policemen are recovering at the hospital with serious injuries. But the traffic is smooth on NH-8.