Opposing the arrest of farmers on charges of attempt to murder, following their clash with the administration over the eviction of panchayat land at Hariau village in Patran on Thursday, activists of Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) burnt the effigy of the police and held a massive protest in front of deputy commissioner's office here, on Sunday.
The protestors demanded immediate release of the "innocent" farmers who were protesting for their rights.
Condemning the move of the administration, the agitating farmers and activists said they would continue with their hunger strike till the administration did not drop charges against the arrested farmers. "We will hold a protest at front of Patiala block-1 on August 11 to press for our demands and would continue our strike until our demands are fulfilled by the administration," said Jagmohan Singh Patiala, state general secretary, BKU.
The protesters said the administration was doing injustice and has registered an FIR against 21 farmers by name. "They have also registered FIR against 100 unknown farmers, who would be arrested soon by the cops," they said.
The Punjab police had lathicharged the farmers, when they opposed the administration's drive of taking over of the panchayat land at village Hariau by pelting stones on police, civil administration and electricity board officials. However, after using force, the administration managed to take control of the land and sealed all the residential houses and snapped electricity connections by removing the transformers.
In the FIR lodged against farmers, Paramjit Kaur, block panchayat and development officer, Patran, had alleged that farmers pelted stones, used sharp-edged weapons and manhandled the officials of various departments when they tried to implement the Punjab and Haryana high court orders of taking possession of the illegally occupied government land by farmers. She had said that in the "murderous attack", several persons were injured.
Following the complaint, the police had registered case against several farmers, including Sita Singh, block president and around 20 others under section 307 attempts to murder, for allegedly using sharp alleged weapons, pelting stones against administration and police officials on Thursday.
Later, the farmers had started a chain hunger strike in front of the DC's office, Patiala. The opposition parties, including Congress and AAP, had also condemned the lathicharge on farmers, which took place on Thursday.
Members of Bharti Kissan Union holding a protest against the Punjab government in Patiala.