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Farmers hold dharna, demand cancellation of FIRs for assault on BJP MLA

A DAY after 4 farmers from Punjab’s Malout had been arrested in reference to the assault on Abohar MLA Arun Narang, farmers from completely different villages within the space held a daylong ‘pakka dharna’ at Malout’s Bathinda Chowk on Monday, demanding cancellation of the FIRs.

They lastly relented and lifted the dharna round 7.30 pm after cops arrived there and guaranteed them of honest investigation within the case.

Muktsar Police had on Sunday arrested 4 individuals and booked 23 others in reference to the assault on the BJP MLA in Malout city on Saturday.

The protesting farmers additionally alleged that the assault was stage-managed, and accused the BJP of placing the blame on farmers subsequently.

The dharna disrupted visitors motion in direction of Muktsar, Bathinda, Abohar and Dabwali for practically 9 hours through the day. The protesters accused the BJP of subjecting them to “mental assault” for the previous many months.

The protesters additionally alleged that the police had booked a farmer from Bodhiwala village who had died three years in the past. “A number of farmers who were not even present at dharna but are members of farmers’ unions have been booked, which shows non-serious nature of the investigation,” Sidhupur district president of BKU, Sukhdev Singh Buragujar, mentioned.

Meanwhile, the bandh known as by the BJP at Malout till 2pm Monday bought a lukewarm response, with a couple of markets partially closed. Shopkeepers advised BJP staff to depart after they went to get the store house owners to down shutters on Monday morning.

On the assault, Karamjeet Singh, a farmer taking part in Monday’s dharna, mentioned, “Tearing off someone’s clothes is not good but our union members never did this. We only do symbolic protest. It seems BJP workers stage-managed by letting their own men strip Narang, and later blamed farmers.”

Nirmal Singh from Punjab Kisan Union mentioned, “It seems some anti-social elements entered the protest and ripped off the MLA’s clothes…farmers never indulge in such violence.”

BKU’s Sukhdev Singh mentioned, “When we have now already introduced that we are going to not let any BJP chief hold any public assembly, what was the purpose of (Narang) coming right here? Just a few days in the past, we had protested towards the identical MLA in Tarmala village of Malout…and he turned up once more. We don’t encourage any violence in our protests. We will proceed our protests towards BJP in a peaceable method.“

On Monday afternoon, a delegation of 5 farmers went to satisfy the Muktsar SSP and different district cops however the talks didn’t yield outcome instantly. The dharna was lifted solely later within the night, after cops went to the location.

Rajpal Singh Hundral, SP (investigations), Muktsar, advised The Indian Express that there have been no additional arrests. “As for the complaint that a dead farmer has been included in the FIR, we will investigate it. Farmers had staged dharna for the whole day but lifted it late in the evening. We assured them of fair investigation; their apprehensions were answered. We are not going to arrest anyone who was not present at the spot that day. Our investigation in the case of attempt to murder and assault of MLA is going on.”

Meanwhile, the 4 arrested on Sunday had been produced in court docket on Monday and had been despatched to judicial custody.

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