Hundreds of farmers on Thursday, September 10, held a rally against the Centre's three agri ordinances and blocked the national highway at Pipli in Kurukshetra district of Haryana for nearly two hours after police did not allow them to move to their rally venue amid COVID-19 restrictions.
When the protesters tried to move to the rally venue by breaking a barricade, the police used force to disperse them.
Farmers from other parts of the state, who were headed to the Pipli protest site, were also stopped by the police. The agitated farmers have announced that if their demands are not met, they will block all roads of the state on September 20.
Amid the three ordinances introduce by the centre - the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 - various farmer organisations including Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) are demanding legislation to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP).
In order to prevent the gathering of more than four people, the Kurukshetra administration had issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr.PC in Pipli.
According to a report by The Indian Express, while police said that "mild force" was used to disperse the farmers when they tried to move to the rally venue, BKU's Gurnam Singh Chaduni said, "I don't know exactly how many farmers were injured in the lathicharge but I myself saw 2-3 farmers with head injuries and others with injuries on their legs."
Meanwhile, Kurukshetra SP Astha Modi said that no arrests have been made so far, however, FIRs will be registered wherever provisions of the law were broken.
Talking about the claims of lathi charge, the SP said, "It was not a lathicharge. They tried to break barricades at Pipli chowk which were installed to prevent their movement to mandi. Three-four tractor-trolleys arrived and tried to damage the barricades. They sort of tried to hit the policemen and then hit the barricades to cross the police naka. The agitators were stopped there and were pushed back. They pelted stones at us."
Meanwhile, Congress leaders, including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kumari Selja, and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav have condemned the use of force against the farmers.