New Delhi: Hundreds of Congress workers agitating against the NDA government’s Land Bill suffered injuries when the police used force to stop them from marching to Parliament.
The scuffle at Parliament Street took place when protesters led by senior leaders Randeep Surjewala, Raj Babbar, Jairam Ramesh and Youth Congress’s Amrinder Singh Raja Brar violated Section 144 which is imposed in the vicinity. Eyewitnesses say the police action was disproportionate to the provocation.
The police used water cannons and resorted to lathi charge to disperse the agitators. Dirty water from drains was also used in the police action. All top leaders have taken into custody and detained at Parliament Street police station. Women protesters were also not spared police action. Many of them were seen crying in pain.
The agitation turned ugly when Brar who had climbed a barricade somehow slipped and fell on the other side where police force was present in a large number. As he was trying to “stand to go back”, he was surrounded by cops and “brutally beaten”. When the protesters saw him bleeding, they clashed with the police.
While the cops justify their action saying that the agitators did not respect the barricading and trying to break it to go ahead, which they “cannot allow”, the agitators call the use of force “politically motivated” and an attempt to “curb the legitimate voices”.
At present, the situation is under control and use of water cannons has been stopped.
Reacting strongly on the use of force on the party workers and farmers, Surjewala told Firstpost, “It has exposed the Modi government’s anti-farmers’ stand. We won’t allow the government to go ahead with the black law. Both the Congress and farmers will win,” he said.
Pledging to continue the fight against the amendments, Ramesh said, “We will keep fighting against the proposed bill in and outside Parliament. The government will have to withdraw it.”
Expressing surprise at the government’s move to “do away” with the consent clause in the bill, he said, “We are completely against the amendments. In (proposed) law, farmers don’t have the right to take decision regarding their own land. Even if I take a mere pen from you, I will ask you. Then how come, a farmer, for whom land is his mother, is being asked to hand it over to someone else (without consent)?”
Adding that the use of “lathis won’t shake the determination of his party as well as farmers, an injured Brar said, “I want to tell the government that do whatever you can. We are not afraid of your lathis; it cannot shake our determination. We won’t allow your (the Centre’s) highhandedness.”
“We will fight and win,” he added.
When asked where is Congress vice president Rahul, who was supposed to lead the struggle, he said, “The fight has been initiated by him and we will take it forward. We are his soldiers.”
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