Haryana Congress delegation meets governor, seeks judicial probe into lathicharge on farmers


CHANDIGARH: A delegation of Congress MLAs on Tuesday met Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, seeking a judicial probe into the lathi-charge on farmers and requesting him not to give his nod to the land acquisition bill passed by the state Assembly recently.

The state police had lathi-charged a group of farmers disrupting traffic movement on a highway while heading towards Karnal in Haryana to protest against a BJP meeting on August 28.

The state Assembly had in its monsoon session passed the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which has been dubbed as anti-farmer by Congress.

The Congress delegation led by the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, also submitted a video of an official, in which he is seen telling police to “break farmers’ heads”, according to a statement.

Submitting a memorandum, Hooda reiterated his demand for a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court or a retired judge into the lathi-charge incident, in which around 10 farmers were injured.

Dubbing the land acquisition Bill as “anti-farmer”, the Congress delegation urged the Governor not to give his approval to it and send it back to the Haryana Assembly for reconsideration.

Hooda had earlier said the Haryana government has delivered another blow to the rights of farmers through the Bill, with the Congress demanding that it be either withdrawn or referred to a select committee.

“This Bill is anti-farmer, anti-poor and undemocratic. The Bill was passed hurriedly without a detailed discussion in the House,” Hooda told the Governor.

Hooda said the new Bill will hurt the interests of farmers who are already agitating against the Union government’s agriculture laws for the past nine months.

He claimed that provisions safeguarding the interests of farmers have been taken away.

“All provisions of the old Land Acquisition Act, such as the consent of farmers, the procedure for prior notice and giving residential plots with compensation in lieu of land, have been done away in the new Bill,” Hooda said.

“”Not only this, under the old law, the consent of 75 per cent of the landholders was required for the government authority within the public-private partnership and according to Section 10 of the Act, fertile land could not be acquired. This has been done away in the new law,” he said.

Earlier talking to reporters here before meeting the Governor, the former chief minister commenting on the completion of the 2,500 days of the BJP-led government, claiming, “Both terms of the BJP government have been full of failures.

“Then what is the government celebrating?” “Is the government celebrating the fact that it has made Haryana number one in unemployment, crime, drugs, scams, farmer protests and pollution?”” he asked.

“”Is the government celebrating the fact that it got the farmers beaten up with sticks? Is it being celebrated that the farmer is sitting on the streets today? Is it celebrating the fact that today the state has got a debt of Rs 2.5 lakh crore,”” Hooda asked.