Farmers Call Off Week-Long Protest in India's Haryana After Gov't Agrees to Their Demands
On Saturday, a press conference was held after the fourth round of meetings between agitating farmers and the Haryana government. Although the protesting farmers had demanded police complaints against Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Ayush Sinha over his controversial comments they agreed to a judicial probe.
Farmers demonstrating in Haryana called off their protest on Saturday after the state government assured an investigation into purported police brutality during their protest last month.
Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh has promised a judicial inquiry by a retired judge to ensure impartiality.
The state government also agreed to provide jobs to two relatives of a deceased farmer who died during the police action last month.
What Happened During the Protests?
On 28 August, police in Haryana beat farmers who blocked a highway while going to Karnal to agitate against State Chief Manohar Lal Khattar over farm laws with bamboo sticks. At least 10 people were wounded as a result.
Later, videos emerged appearing to show IAS officer Ayush Sinha ordering the police to "break the heads" of any farmer protesting against the farm laws. The footage went viral on social media platforms and sparked massive outrage.
Since 7 September, farmers have been agitating and demanding the authorities accept their demands, including the dismissal of Ayush Sinha.
After the video of Sinha came out, Haryana Chief Khattar said during a press conference: "Although the officer's [Ayush Sinha's] choice of words was not correct, strictness had to be maintained to ensure the law and order situation there was kept under check".
The protesting farmers had also threatened the authorities, saying they may maintain a permanent protest site.
"We may have a permanent protest like the Singhu and Tikri border here", said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.
Farmers have been protesting along the borders of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh since last year over three contention farm laws.