AMBALA: The Haryana Police booked 13 farmers on charges of attempt to murder and rioting on Wednesday, a day after a group of people protesting against the Centre's farm laws allegedly blocked Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's convoy and hurled sticks at it.
The opposition Congress has criticised the move with its state chief Kumari Selja saying it showed the government's desperation.
On Tuesday, a group of protesting farmers had shown black flags to Khattar when his convoy was passing through Ambala City.
Khattar was in the city to address public meetings in support of the party's candidates for the upcoming civic body polls.
Farmers had waved black flags at the chief minister's convoy while it was crossing Agrasen Chowk.
They also raised slogans against the government Police on Wednesday said some farmers tried to charge towards the convoy and blocked its movement for some time.
They said some of them hurled sticks at some vehicles.
Reacting to it, Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja said the Haryana government has crossed all the limits by registering the case against the farmers.
"Filing a case of attempt to murder and under other sections against the farmers shows the government's desperation. In a democracy, everyone has the right to free speech but when the voice of people is suppressed, they are forced to come to the streets for their rights."
"The voice of farmers is being continuously suppressed by the BJP government. People have lost trust in this government. This is the reason why black flags were shown by the farmers to Chief Minister Manohar Lal," she said.
Kumari Selja said earlier too the state government had taken oppressive action against farmers and asked how showing black flags is a matter of attempt to murder.
"The government should immediately withdraw the cases lodged against the farmers," she added.
The Ambala City police booked the farmers under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (offence committed by any member of any unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).