Chandigarh, Aug 29 (PTI) Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Sunday disapproved of the remarks of an IAS officer caught on camera telling police to “break farmers’ heads” protesting in Karnal and promised action against him.
Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha, a 2018-batch IAS officer, was caught on camera telling police to “break farmers’ heads” during the farmers' protest.
Deputy CM and JJP leader Chautala promised action against Sinha amid mounting opposition's attack against the M L Khattar government over the Saturday lathi-charge on farmers and their demand of strict action against the magistrate.
“The 2018-batch IAS officer's video has gone viral. Using such a language by an IAS officer is condemnable,” said Chautala.
“I think during their training, officers are taught how to face such situations and how to maintain balance in their actions. But what he said clearly does not meet the ethical standards which are expected from such officers,” said Chautala, censuring the officer’s remark.
“The government will definitely take whatever action is deemed fit,” he said.
The deputy chief minister, however, also condemned the farmers' violence, including stone-pelting at police, during their protest in Karnal.
“Do you support the kind of action which was seen from the other side?” he asked.
Referring to the Karnal incident, he said he was “saddened by the events” but questioned the ultimate motive of farmer leaders.
“I am saddened by the events, but I want to ask through the media where are those 40 leaders. After all, what is their ultimate motive?” he asked.
He also questioned why Haryana has been made the epicentre of protests.
Chautala asserted that there was "no insecurity or fear among farmers" over the farm laws but "some farm leaders and middlemen are fuelling the agitation using their shoulder".
“They want to weaken Haryana’s agrarian economy, they want to break its system. They want to put Haryana under turmoil. Why this movement is not going to Punjab, Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh, why are the people of Haryana being provoked?” he asked.
“Their aim is to destabilise the Haryana economy,” Chautala said.
He said “new mandis are being built in Haryana, crops are being procured at Minimum Support Price, what, after all, is the issue left here?” The JJP leader said the Centre is even open to amendments in farm laws, but despite that, the unions are not coming forward for talks.
“Unless the talks are held, no solution can be found,” Chautala said.
He also insinuated that the farmers’ agitation in Haryana will last till the Punjab polls.
“It will become clear in five months if this prolonged agitation is not because of the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab,” he said.
Reacting to allegations against him, SDM Sinha told reporters in Karnal that said he has not seen the viral video and he would check and comment later.
Farmers had already started pelting stone at many places and under the CrPC, there is a provision to use proportionate force, he added.
Chautala remarks against the SDM came amid the mounting attack on the Haryana government by the opposition and the farmer leaders with Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) demanding strict against the officer.
The SKM, an umbrella body of various farmers' outfits spearheading the agitation, and opposition parties, upped their ante and claiming that the BJP-JJP government’s action against farmers was “pre-planned”.
Addressing a farmers' mahapanchayat in Nuh in Haryana, senior SKM leader Yogendra Yadav said “the officer Ayush Sinha should be immediately dismissed from the service”.
Other senior leaders who addressed mahapanchayat in Nuh included Darshan Pal, Rakesh Tikait and Joginder Ugrahan.
“Haryana's farmers will not tolerate such acts. Farmers from Mewat, who fought Balban, Babur and British cannot be intimidated by your police. This large gathering of farmers here wants to convey this,” he said.
“What happened in Karnal yesterday is condemnable. Lathis were rained on farmers, they suffered serious injuries. It did not happen by chance, it was pre-planned,” he alleged.
On SDM's order, Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday said “this is unbecoming of an IAS officer” and wondered if lathi- charge on farmers was “pre-planned”.
“The action shows intentions of the government which seems to have made up its mind to beat the farmers,” Hooda said.
He also demanded an inquiry into the lathi-charge incident by a sitting or retired judge of the high court.
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, meanwhile, met some of the injured protesters in a hospital in Karnal and condemned the “brutal lathi-charge”, terming the SDM Sinha’s alleged order to farmers as “Talibani diktat”.