The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers on Wednesday criticised the state government and decided to support the demands of agitating farmers who have been protesting against the registration of attempt to murder case and the arrest of 21 farmers outside the Patiala deputy commissioner's office from August 6.
Addressing a press conference here, AAP leaders condemned the lathicharge and termed the police drive a 'dictatorial' attitude of the state government. They also demanded the immediate release of arrested farmers and the handing over the confiscated land to them.
Protesting against the arrest of farmers after a clash between them and the police at Hariau village in Patran on August 6, the Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) activists had launched an infinite chain hunger strike, which on Wednesday entered its 6th day.
Members claimed that the district administration and the police took the step under political pressure and sealed the properties without proper orders.
Dr. Balbir Singh, AAP leader speaking for the farmers arrested in the clash with police over the seizure of land. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)
Dr Balbir Singh, AAP leader, claimed that the district administration and the police did not have proper orders of the high court to seal the properties. "I personally visited and asked the superintendent of police (SSP) and the deputy commissioner (DC) to provide me a copy of high court orders on the basis which they removed the encroachment and sealed the houses. But they failed to provide me the information," Dr Balbir claimed.
Palwinder Kaur, sarpanch of Patran village, claimed that the panchayat members had also filed a PIL in the high court regarding the case of 200 acres of panchayat land in the village and had requested the court for a stay on the land.
"Fearing the court's stay orders, the administration reeling under political pressure sealed the property and thrashed the protesting farmers on August 6," Kaur claimed.
After the incident, the BKU activists along with more than 60 families from the village have been holding protests and had launched an infinite chain hunger strike, demanding immediate release of the arrested farmers and possession of the land from state government.
"The administration forcibly took control of the land and sealed all residential houses and snapped electricity connections by removing the transformers during the drive, forcing residents to come on roads," Buta Singh, state president of BKU said.
Singh said, "We will launch state-wide protests if the district administration fails to hand over the confiscated land."
Meanwhile, AAP workers and BKU activists on Thursday threatened the state government to launch state-wide protests with the support of other unions to press for their demands.