Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Saturday condemned Friday's cane charge on the farmers exercising their right to protest in Amritsar.
In a statement issued here, Bajwa said that on the one hand, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was holding an agriculture summit, while on the other hand, his government was beating up farmers like animals.
Accusing the police of using brutal methods against farmers, Bajwa asked for a judicial inquiry into the incident, saying farmers had alleged that the police had provoked them by mistreating women protesters.
He reminded Badal of the famous last words of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai: "Each lathi blow on me will prove the last nail in the coffin of the oppressive government." Bajwa said that the present-day Punjab government was more repressive than the erstwhile British Empire.
Besides, judicial inquiry into the cane charge, Bajwa also demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the farmer who had been killed. "Farmer Bahadur Singh died of police assault. I seek strict action against the police officials who failed to handle the situation. The farmers had resorted to agitation only because of the callous attitude of the Powercom authorities and the state government," he added.