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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Badal meets agitating farmers; orders magisterial inquiry into lathicharge

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, February 25, 2014
First Published: 21:54 IST(25/2/2014) | Last Updated: 22:02 IST(25/2/2014)

Chief minister Prakash Singh Badal on Tuesday ordered a magisterial probe into the police lathicharge on agitating farmers last Friday during a protest staged by them outside the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) office, which claimed one life.

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Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh said that the CM had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the entire incident, including the confinement of PSPCL officials.

Earlier, protesting farmers under the banner of Kissan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) met Prakash Singh Badal for the release of five arrested farmer leaders, who were sent to judicial custody on Monday. They returned disappointed as Badal remained non-committal on the issue, telling them that he would look into the matter.

The farmers said they would intensify their struggle in the days to come. The meeting lasted for more than an hour at Circuit House in Amritsar, during which the farmers urged Badal to ensure the release of the arrested farmer leaders.

"Prakash Singh Badal's response to our demand was negative. We are unhappy with his reply that he would look into the matter. We will intensify our struggle in the days to come," said Sawinder Singh Chutala, KSC general secretary.

Earler, farmer organizations, including Punjab Kirti Kissan Union, Jamhoori Kissan Sabha, Kissan Sangharsh Committee, Pendu Mazdoor Union and Dehati Mazdoor Sabha, staged a demonstration outside the Amritsar deputy commissioner's office condemning the lathicharge.

Last Friday, a number of PSPCL officials had been held hostage inside the chief engineer's office by protesting farmers, which invoked police action, claimed the life of Bahadur Singh (75). The farmers had been booked under sections 323/353/186/ 341/342/427/188/148/149 of the IPC on charges of attacking the police and holding hostage the PSPCL officials.

On Monday, a local court had sent five farmer leaders to judicial custody in connection with the clash.

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