Meghalaya State Governor Satya Pal Malik once again supported farmers who protested against the three agricultural laws and criticized the ruling People’s Party, asking Haryana’s Chief Minister ML Khattar to apologize for the lathi accusations. “cruel” in Karnal yesterday. According to reports, 10 people were injured.
Mr. Malik is also seeking to hire a high-ranking district official because a video ordering the police to “crush” the farmers’ heads appeared on the Internet, prompting fierce protests from the opposition.
Statement by Mr. Malik
“Manohar Lal Khattar should apologise to the farmers… The Haryana Chief Minister is using sticks (lathis) on farmers. The central government did not use force… I told the top leadership not to use force,” Mr Malik told NDTV today, calling himself “a farmer’s son”.
“SDM (sub-divisional magistrate Ayush Sinha) should be fired immediately. He is not fit for the SDM post… the government is supporting him,” he said, referring to the controversial video. Mr Malik also told NDTV that he was disappointed that the government did not provide any comfort to the families of the farmers who died in these protests.
“600 farmers have died (during nationwide protests that began over a year ago)… but no one from the government spoke even a word of consolation,” he said.
Mr. Malik unhappy about the post
Mr Malik, who has also served as the Governor of J&K, Goa, Bihar and Odisha, indicated he was not afraid of the government’s reaction to his statements, saying: “I am not in love with this post (of Governor)… whatever I say, I speak from my heart. I feel I have to return to the farmers.”
“If this movement continues like this then in the long term, BJP will lose out in western UP, Rajasthan and Haryana,” he had said; his statement then might ring some alarm bells in the BJP today, given that UP votes for a new government in a few months’ time.
Barbaric actions taken by police
Angry farmers blocked many roads in Haryana yesterday to protest the “barbaric” actions taken by the police against farmers protesting against the state meeting headed by Mr. Khattar.
Lathi from the Haryana police filed charges against farmers after trying to prevent a convoy carrying BJP state leader OP Dhankar from arriving at the meeting. The police responded with what they called “soft power,” but the peasant leader Gurnan Singh Chaduni criticized the authorities for “cruelly accusing the peasants” of peaceful protests.