The Punjab Police on Wednesday baton-charged a group of persons holding a protest outside Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s home in Sangrur seeking a range of demands, The Tribune reported.
Mukesh Malaud, the president of Zameen Prapati Sangharash Committee, claimed that 22 of its members suffered injuries in the clashes.
“As per our announced programme, we were peacefully marching towards the residence of CM, but cops tried to stop us with big barricades, trucks and other means,” he said. “But when they failed, they used force on us and our 22 members suffered injuries.”
Kashmir Ghugsher, from the Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union, said that several members of the organisations were hit by batons, The Indian Express reported.
“I recall Bhagwant Mann’s concern when the BJP-led Haryana government had done such barricading during the farmer agitation in 2020-2021,” he said. “Now the same has been done by his government outside a colony where he has a rented house and he hardly visits that place.”
Visuals by ANI showed police personnel using batons to control a group of protestors.
However, the Sangrur senior superintendent of police claimed that no baton charge took place, and that the protest was held in a peaceful manner. “An aggressive faction of protestors indulged in a scuffle, which was later controlled by the police,” he said. “We have taken cognisance of their demands.”
The protestors ended their demonstrators after they got time for a meeting with the chief minister on December 21. However, they said that they would intensify their agitation if the government failed to fulfil their demands.
Malaund said that the protestors were demanding a daily minimum wage of Rs 700.
“Daily-wage employment should be made available on all days instead of only 100 days as under the MGNREGS,” he said. “One third of panchayati land meant for agriculture should be given at nominal rates to Dalit families for farming.”
The general secretary of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Lacchman Singh Sewewala, said that another demand of the protestors was that of compensation for farmers whose pink bollworm cotton crop was damaged.