Police attack on farmers: 'SDM's choice of words wrong, administration will look into matter,' says Haryana CM

Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha, a 2018-batch IAS officer, was caught on camera telling police to 'break farmers' heads' during a farmers' protest. The video went viral, drawing strong backlash on social media

Police attack on farmers: 'SDM's choice of words wrong, administration will look into matter,' says Haryana CM
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NH Web Desk

After the furore over police brutality on protesting farmers in Karnal, Haryana over social media and across political parties, Haryana chief minister ML Khattar came to the rescue of the SDM Ayush Sinha who had reportedly ordered the police force to 'break' heads of protesting farmers.

"Officer's choice of words was wrong. Administration will look into matter. He shouldn't have spoken those words, but strictness was needed to maintain law and order", Haryana CM ML Khattar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Addressing a press conference, the state chief minister ML Khattar said, “If any action has to be taken [against the officer], it would first have to be assessed by the district administration. The DGP is also looking into it. To maintain law and order, strictness had to be ensured.”

The video of the SDM ordering police force to 'crack' the heads of protesting farmers had gone viral on social media. And then several photos of farmers bleeding profusely also emerged on social media platforms which invoked strong response from netizens and various political parties too.

On Monday Nishant Yadav, DM, Karnal came in support of the SDM but admitted that "Some words shouldn't have been used." He said that he "regrets" it but added that the "SDM, on duty, is a sincere officer. He used some words in heat of the moment, he shouldn't have. But his intention wasn't wrong."

"He told police force that if protesters reach their spot, they would've already broken 2 nakas by then and if they crossed their naka, they would indulge in vandalism. So they shouldn't be allowed. They need to be talked to and if someone doesn't understand, baton should be used", the DM said explaining what the SDM had meant by 'breaking their heads" comment.

The Karnal DM went on to say that "Tailored version was presented in the media. The complete briefing wasn't presented that how did he properly brief Police force where he said that if protesters reach there, they'll be stopped, talked to and if they don't, force be used as there's no force after their naka."

The Haryana government and the chief minister almost defending the SDM come a day after Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala 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.

Karnal's Superintendent of Police Ganga Ram Punia said two separate FIRs have been lodged over attacks on police personnel with stones, blocking national highways and unlawful assembly by the protesters, in which 27 accused have been named, while others are unidentified.

On Sunday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of various farmers' outfits spearheading the farmers' agitation, and opposition parties, upped the ante over the Karnal lathicharge incident.

Addressing a farmers' mahapanchayat at Nuh in Haryana attended by several senior SKM leaders, senior leader Yogendra Yadav said, "The officer (Ayush Sinha) should be immediately dismissed from service."

Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said this is unbecoming of an IAS officer and asked if the lathi-charge on farmers was pre-planned .

"The action shows the intentions of the government which seems to have already made up its mind to beat the farmers," he said, demanding an inquiry by a sitting or retired high court judge into the lathicharge incident.

The IAS officer in question, however, said he has not seen the video which has gone viral and that he would check and comment later.

With PTI inputs

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Published: 30 Aug 2021, 5:05 PM