As many as 39 people were injured after a stray bull went berserk when farmers were holding a protest outside the deputy commissioner’s office here on Thursday.
The incident took place around 1:45 pm when the bull barged into the venue of the protest from the circuit house side and started mauling the crowd. The protesters were just taken unawares. It was a stampede-like situation as the people started rushing hither and thither to save themselves from the attacking bull.
The bull, that was totally out of control, went on hitting people with its horns pushing them aside amimg them fall on the ground. Ultimately, it found the way to go out of the crowd from the stage side but not before leaving a number of people bleeding. The injured, including 18 women, were immediately rushed to the local civil hospital.
According to information, three people suffered fractures in their arms, while the others suffered multiple injuries.
However, even after being informed about the incident, the district administration failed to provide an ambulance and the injured were brought to the hospital in private vehicles.
Later, the police cordoned off the area and diverted the vehicular traffic through other link roads. However, the farmers gathered again and resumed the protest.
Gurmail Kaur, one of the injured persons, said the bull entered from the circuit side, where women protesters were sitting.
Another injured Biker Singh, who suffered injury in his left eye, said as the bull rammed into him, he fell down and the people started running over him.
Meanwhile, Mahipal, an activist of the Khet Majdoor Union, said most of the injured were given first aid and sent for X-ray and body scans for diagnosis.
Adequate compensation our right
Speaking during the protest, leaders of different farmer unions and farm labourers demanded adequate compensation for their damaged cotton crop.
Addressing the gathering, Sukhdev Singh Kokri, general secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), said the government must announce compensation of `40,000 per acre to cotton growers, since they are not going to earn a single penny this season due to the severe attack of whitefly.
“We are not beggars. Adequate compensation is our right. Just by announcing a girdawari, farmers are not going be compensated,” he said.
He added that if the government showed any reluctance in fulfilling their demands, they would intensify their fight for justice.
They also demanded a compensation of `20,000 for labourers, who pluck cotton. The farmers have also planned to sit on an indefinite protest from September 17 here.
Meanwhile, the farmers organisation has also decided to hold rallies in Patiala on September 15, Amritsar on September 21 and Jalandhar on September 25.