CHANDIGARH: Agitating farmers lifted their five-day-long siege of the Karnal mini-secretariat after the Haryana Government agreed to order a probe into last month’s clashes between the farmers and the police. The inquiry by a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will also look into the conduct of 2018 batch IAS officer Ayush Sinha, the then sub-divisional magistrate, who will remain on leave during the period of the probe.
The agreement between the state government and the farmers was reached during the fourth round of talks between additional chief secretary Devender Singh and BKU Haryana president Gurnam Singh Charuni.
Singh said the inquiry would be completed within a month, declaring that the farmers were like his family members and the agreement was reached in a very respectful manner.
Charuni said former SDM Sinha would be sent on forced leave for a month till the inquiry was on. “We discussed the point about the registration of an FIR against Sinha with our lawyers and they told us if a case is registered then the administration could give a clean chit to the officer after a probe and then the move the court for quashing the FIR,” the farmer leader said.
Charuni added if an inquiry is conducted by a retired judge after which a case is registered then there were hardly any chances he would get any relief, adding that they were satisfied with a probe by a retired judge in a month.
According to Charuni, the government had accepted their demand of giving two jobs to the family members of the deceased farmer, Sushil Kajal, and they would be appointed in a week. “We came to an agreement after the consent of all SKM leaders,” he said. The dharna on Saturday was disrupted because of heavy rain. The main tent leaked at many places, causing inconvenience to the farmers.
The farmers had been demanding the suspension of Sinha and the registration of a murder or attempt to murder case against him, who was caught on video allegedly telling policemen to “break the heads” of the farmers on August 28. About 10 farmers were injured in the clashes in Karnal when they tried to march towards the venue of a BJP meeting.