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Delhi Chalo stir: Farmer killed, 12 cops injured in clashes at Punjab-Haryana border

Updated on: 21 February,2024 10:26 PM IST  |  Chandigarh

A farmer was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes between security personnel and protesting farmers at Punjab-Haryana border

Delhi Chalo stir: Farmer killed, 12 cops injured in clashes at Punjab-Haryana border

Protesting farmers disperse after a tear gas firing during their 'Delhi Chalo' march near the Punjab-Haryana Shambhu Border. Pic/PTI

Key Highlights

  1. A 21-year-old farmer was killed
  2. About 12 police personnel were injured
  3. Clashes were reported between security personnel and protesting farmers at Khanauri

A 21-year-old farmer was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes between security personnel and protesting farmers at Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Farmer leaders said this was the first death in clashes since the 'Delhi Chalo' protests began on February 13.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said the deceased has been identified as Subhkaran Singh (21), a resident of Baloke village in Punjab's Bathinda district.

Patiala-based Rajindra Hospital's medical superintendent H S Rekhi told reporters that three people, one of them dead, were brought to the hospital from the Khanauri border point.

The deceased had an injury to his head but the exact cause of his death could be known after a post-mortem examination, Rekhi said, adding the condition of the other two is stable.

Tear gas shells were fired to disperse Punjab farmers at Shambhu and Khanauri border points as they tried to move towards barricades stalling their protest march to Delhi.

Farmers in Khanauri claimed that besides tear gas shells, Haryana police personnel also fired rubber bullets.

A Haryana police spokesperson, however, said the protesting farmers attacked security personnel with stones and sticks, leaving 12 of them seriously injured at the Khanauri border.

The spokesperson further said the protesters poured chilli powder on stubble and set it on fire after surrounding the security personnel posted at the the Khanauri border.

Due to the toxic smoke, the policemen deputed in the area faced difficulty in breathing and irritation in the eyes, said the spokesperson.

The Haryana Police appealed to the farmers to protest peacefully and cooperate in maintaining law and order. It also urged them to not start a fire as smoke reduces visibility and hampers police's ability to maintain order.

Criticising the Haryana Police for allegedly using "force" on the protesters, farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said the government on one side wants to hold talks with them while on the other the son of a mother who came for a law on MSP and debt waiver lost his life.

AAP leader and Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh said it was unfortunate that a young farmer died and said force was used on farmers who were holding protests peacefully.

"This is murder of democracy," he said, condemning Haryana Police action. Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal called the death of the young farmer "extremely tragic".

"The death of Maur (Bathinda) boy Shubhkaran Singh in Haryana police firing at Khanauri border has sent a pall of gloom in Punjab. Punjab CM @BhagwantMann's conspiratorial double game is responsible for the loss of this young life, the only brother of two sisters.

"The police of another state are allowed to assault and kill Punjabis on Punjab soil, with Bhagwant Mann collaborating with Haryana against Punjab farmers.

Peaceful protest being met with bullets unheard of in a democracy. The innocent blood of Shubhkaran Singh is on Bhagwant Mann's hands," Badal alleged in a post on X.

Senior Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa condemned the BJP-led Haryana government.

He also lambasted the chief minister, who also holds the home portfolio, for his alleged "failure to stop the BJP-led Haryana government from firing in area under Punjab's jurisdiction."

"Farmer Shubkaran Singh of village Ballo, district Bathinda, allegedly died with a rubber bullet fired by the Haryana police while he was still in Punjab's jurisdiction protesting peacefully," Bajwa claimed in his statement.

Thousands of farmers, protesting at the two border points of Punjab and Haryana had announced to resume their 'Delhi Chalo' march at 11 am, but they were yet to head towards the national capital.

Haryana security personnel fired tear gas shells both at Shambhu and Khanauri border points when some young farmers tried to head towards barricades.

Since February 13, farmers are gathered at the border points with their tractor-trolleys, mini-vans and pickup trucks.

Heavy earthmoving equipment, including excavators, and modified tractors were seen at the protest sites, with police cautioning that these might be used to break barricades and cause harm to security personnel.

Besides a law on MSP, the farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases on protesters and "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 their agitation in 2020-21.

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