Police deny reports of farmer’s death at Punjab border; leaders seek probe

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal demanded that the Punjab government should give the status of martyr to the deceased protestor

Chandigarh: Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher on Thursday, February 22, demanded the registration of a murder case against those responsible for the death of a protesting farmer at the Khanauri border point of Punjab, Haryana.

Pandher also said the Punjab government should take action against the Haryana paramilitary force personnel for allegedly damaging 25–30 tractor-trolleys after entering the state’s territory.

A farmer was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border on Wednesday.

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The incident took place when some protesting farmers were trying to head toward barricades.

Subhkaran Singh (21), hailing from Bathinda district, died at Khanauri on the Sangrur-Jind border.

Speaking to reporters in Patiala, Pandher accused the Haryana security personnel of entering the Punjab territory and using “force” against farmers at the Khanauri border point.

“We want the Punjab government to register a case under Section 302 (murder of the IPC),” said Pandher.

However, Haryana police have denied the allegations and claimed that “no farmer was killed in the protest,” according to the BBC.

Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal demanded that the Punjab government should give the status of martyr to Shubkaran.

Dallewal also demanded that the Punjab government take notice of Haryana security personnel allegedly damaging 25–30 tractor-trolleys in Punjab’s territory.

The farmer leaders also gave a call for putting up black flags atop houses and in vehicles to register their protest against the death of the farmer at the Khanauri border.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said on Wednesday that he was saddened by the farmer’s death and asserted that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for it.

“After the postmortem, a case will be registered. The officials responsible for his death will have to face stringent action,” Mann said.

Farmers leaders on Wednesday put the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on hold for two days after the farmer’s death and said that they would decide their next course of action on Friday evening.

Police on Wednesday fired tear gas shells at the two border points multiple times to disperse groups of protesters when they attempted to move towards the layers of barricades stalling their march to the national capital.

Thousands of farmers remain camped at Khanauri and Shambhu with their tractor-trolleys and trucks agitating for their demands, including a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP) for crops and a farm debt waiver.

The Punjab farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm laborers, no hike in the electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases, “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020–21.

(With BBC inputs)

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