Accusing police of "callous behaviour", farmer unions on Thursday demanded the suspension of Patiala city assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Dhruman Nimbale and Samana block development officer (BDO) Jaswant Kaur in case of baton charge and firing on peasants in village Charason in Patiala on Tuesday.
On Thursday, 17 farm union leaders visited the village, where farmers and police clashed over possession of government (shamlat) land on Tuesday, and met the injured farmers. They said the "repression" let loose by police on farmers, in the presence of revenue and rural development officials, revealed the "inhuman" face of the present SAD-BJP government".
About two-dozen people, including women, were injured in the baton charge and firing on farmers. The police had also used water cannons and teargas to disperse the agitating farmers. At least five farmers had received serious injuries.
The fact-finding committee comprising 17 farmers' organisations of state has demanded "the ASP and the BDO be suspended from service for misusing their powers since the farmers were protesting peacefully".
Buta Singh Burjgill, president BKU (Dakaunda), Ruldu Singh Mansa from Punjab Kisan Union and Madan Singh Dulowal, vice-president of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, were among the leaders who visited the village.
The committee members said that a case should be registered against the guilty officials for inflicting grievous injuries to the people.
The union leaders said that the farmers of Sanaur, Samana and Bhunarheri blocks of Patiala district had toiled for more than 40 years to make the uncultivable lands fertile.
"You cannot take away the hard work of a generation of farmers just like that. Even if it's a government land, you cannot justify the lathicharge and firing on poor farmers," they said.
The unions demanded that all the false cases registered against the farmers and union leaders should be withdrawn immediately.
At least eight police personnel were also said to be injured during the clashes between the farmers and the police on Tuesday.