Hisar administration agrees to withdraw cases registered against farmers

Hisar, May 24 (PTI) The Hisar district administration on Monday agreed to withdraw all cases registered against farmers following their clash with police on May 16 after the inauguration of a Covid hospital here.

The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting between the district administration and representatives of various farmer unions here.

Many other demands of farmers were also accepted during the meeting, farmer leaders claimed.

Thousands of farmers had reached Hisar on Monday from various places in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and elsewhere responding to their leaders' call to protest against the registration of a criminal case against several of them following the May 16 clash.

District administration officials said that after the talks came to an end, the farmers announced to end their protest.

Senior officials, including the deputy commissioner and the district police chief, and farmer leaders, including Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Rakesh Tikait and Gurnam Singh Chaduni, were present in the meeting.

It has been agreed in the meeting to withdraw all cases registered against farmers, and for this, the administration has sought a month's time to complete legal formalities, BKU Haryana president Chaduni said.

The administration has also agreed to give a job to a member of the family of a farmer named Ram Chander Kharab, a resident of Ugalan village in district Hisar, who died after suddenly collapsing. He had come here to take part in the protest here on Monday, he said.

People present at the site told reporters that the farmer, aged over 70 years, suddenly collapsed. It is believed that he suffered a heart attack, they said.

Besides accepting these demands, the district administration will also repair all the vehicles of farmers which were damage on May 16, Chaduni said.

Farmer leader Rajewal said while the cases registered against farmers in connection with the May 16 incident will be taken back, the administration has said previous cases registered in connection with a farmers' agitation will also be considered.

Officials said that during the talks there was a detailed discussion on the incidents which took place here on May 16.

The administration also asked farmers leaders to ensure that any future protest by them “remains peaceful and within the ambit of the law”, the officials said.

The Haryana Police had lodged a criminal case against around 350 farmers for allegedly attacking government employees and stone-pelting during the protest against Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar shortly after he inaugurated the Covid hospital here.

The farmers, who reached here from various places since morning, had gathered at the Krantiman Park to demand the withdrawal of the case, lodged under various Indian Penal Code sections, including attempt to murder..

As some farmer leaders were addressing the protesters here, the Hisar sub-divisional magistrate approached them, inviting them for talks with the administration.

After the registration of a case against them after the May 16 incident, farmer organisations had said they would gherao the Hisar police commissionerate on Monday to demand the withdrawal of the case and action against police personnel who allegedly lathi-charged them.

Farmers reached Hisar on Monday by buses, tractor-trolleys and other vehicles, leading to various roads in the city getting blocked during their arrival.

Ahead of farmers descending upon the city on Monday, Hisar was turned into a fortress with multi-layered security cordons thrown around vital installations like the mini-secretariat, and offices and residences of senior government and police officials.

The administration had deployed a large number of security personnel, including those from the Rapid Action Force (RAF), to deal with any untoward incident , police sources said.

A large number of farmers, including some women too, began arriving at Krantiman Park on Monday morning itself.

Waving tricolours and their union flags, farmers also raised slogans against the government and the three central farm laws.

Twenty policemen were injured in the clash between the farmers and police on May 16.

The police had on Thursday clarified that only tear gas was used first and then a mild force was used at the magistrate's order to protect the hospital from sabotage and to maintain law and order. PTI Cor SUN VSD ANB ANB

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