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Brutal lathi-charge by police and administration on peacefully protesting farmers resulting in death of an HRD at Karnal, Haryana

Image Credit :- Mid Day

Sushil Kajal

Farmer and HRD

Haryana

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on August 31, 2021 regarding the brutal lathi-charge by the Haryana Police on unarmed farmers, who were peacefully protesting, which resulted in the death of an HRD at Karnal, Haryana.

Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union decided to hold a peaceful protest against the state and central government, which is ruled by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as a part of the ongoing protests against the farm laws. This protest started when the BJP in Haryana was holding meetings regarding local elections in Karnal. As a mark of protest, the farmers shouted slogans and showed black flags to the vehicles of BJP leaders. The Haryana police barricaded all roads leading to the BJP meeting venue in Karnal and declared the peaceful protest unlawful citing section 144 and started started a brutal lathi charge on the farmers without any provocation. Due to this lathi charge 8-10 farmers were severely injured along with Mr. Sushil Kajal, who was severely injured in the lathi charge, died in the night of August 28, 2021. The Superintendent of Police of Karnal, Mr Ganga Ram Punia, denied that the death was due to an injury inflicted by the lathi charge of the police and claimed that the HRD had died due to a heart attack. 

Around the same time, a video circulated on several social media platforms that showed Mr. Ayush Sinha, sub-divisional magistrate of Karnal, instructing the policemen before the protest and saying “Do not hesitate to break their head of the protestors.” 

The brutal lathi charge and excess use of force by the Haryana Police violates section 4 of the code of conduct of Police of India as well as right to freedom of speech and expression, right to peaceful assembly guaranteed under Article 19 (a) and 19 (b) and the right to life with dignity under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

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