Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Thursday said the government is ready to probe the lathi-charge incident in Karnal, comprising an IAS officer’s remark to ‘crack heads of farmers’, that led to anger among farmers who have been staging sit-in protests outside the district headquarters secretariat.
However, Vij was categorically clear in saying that “nobody can be hanged without a probe as someone is demanding it”.
The government has already transferred Karnal sub-divisional magistrate Ayush Sinha, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who was caught on camera directing police to hit protesting farmers on their heads if they breached the security cordon.
Farmers have been protesting against the lathi charge on August 28 in which police had used force on the protesters when farmers allegedly tried to march towards the venue of the BJP meeting, where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar among other leaders were present.
“We are ready for an impartial probe, but this will not only be related to the SDM (Ayush Sinha), but the entire Karnal episode. In this probe, if farmers or their leaders are found guilty, then whatever action is deemed fit will be taken,” Vij told the media in his hometown Ambala.
“Only genuine demands can be accepted. We cannot hang anyone because someone says so. Is the country’s IPC (Indian Penal Code) different and the farmers’ IPC different? It cannot be like this and punishment is always given as per the offence committed. To find out the offence, a probe has to be conducted,” added Vij.
Hundreds and thousands of farmers have set up their camp outside the mini-secretariat in Karnal even as their agitation entered into the third day on Thursday.
The demand for action on the IAS officer has now become a prestige battle for the farmers.
The farmer leaders, after holding talks with the administration on Wednesday, announced that their sit-in protest would continue until their demands are met.