Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, December 25
Several farmers of the Bharti Kisan Union (Rajewal) received minor injuries during a standoff between the police and farmers outside the residence of former Cabinet minister and BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia here on Friday.
In a bid to prevent farmers from attempting to break through the barricades, the police indulged in use of force which resulted in some leaders receiving minor injuries.
Some farmer leaders were chased away, manhandled and lathi charged while during the commotion the turbans of some leaders also came off.
While farmers today gheraod a palace at Cantt protesting against a programme being held to commemorate former BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary, farmers later gheraod the residence of BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia. It was here while attempting to break through the barricades put by police outside Kalia’s house that a standoff ensued.
Angry leaders pressed against the line of barricades with the police attempting to stop them.
When the barricades were breached, police and farm leaders came face to face. In the ensuing commotion some farmers received minor injuries on hands and arms and the turbans of some also came off.
Leaders later headed to the BJP office where they held a peaceful protest surrounded by heavy police deployment.
Amarjit Singh, a youth leader of the BKU (Rajewal) said, “We held a peaceful protest but despite that police put up barricades to prevent us from getting near the minister’s home. When we tried getting through barricades, they lathi charged us and our turbans were also taken off. We have also received injuries in the process. While farmers are dying at Delhi, the BJP leaders are putting up screens to hold gatherings. And when we oppose this, the police beat us. We condemn the party’s celebratory meets and gatherings at a time when the farmers are losing lives. We shall gherao BJP leaders’ house tomorrow and shall hold protest against the prime minister’s Mann Ki Baat address on Sunday.”
Farm leader Deepa, whose turban was taken off during the protest, said, “We were peacefully protesting against the ordinances when the police put up barricades to stop us. They first beat me with a lathi and then took off my turban. They lathi charged us. We were only getting through the barricades.”
DCP, Jalandhar, Gurmeet Singh, said, “The farmers broke through the barricades and the police was just trying to prevent them. We were just trying to prevent them from entering the house because a function was on at the leader’s house. The police didn’t take off the turbans of any leaders. The turbans came off during the struggle which ensued while we were trying to stop them.”