Attack on Haryana deputy speaker's car: Police books over 100 protesters

Farmers' protest | | File Photo: PTI

Chandigarh: Sirsa police has registered a case against over 100 protesters on various charges in connection with the incident on Sunday in which Haryana Assembly Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa's car came under attack during a farmers' protest targeting events of BJP leaders.

As the state government took serious view of the incident, heads rolled and Sirsa district police chief Bhupender Singh was transferred, while an Inspector-rank official was placed under suspension.

"We have registered an FIR against 100-150 protesters under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty, murderous attempt on an elected representative, damaging public property.

"Section 124 A (sedition) has also been added in the FIR and further investigations are on," Station House Officer (SHO) Civil Lines police station, Inspector Vikram Singh said over the phone earlier in the day on Tuesday.

He said that the FIR mentions two farmer leaders by name.

CCTV footage of the incident was being gathered, Singh said, adding that "arrests will be made as other accused are identified".

However, by evening Singh was placed under suspension by the police department for alleged negligence in duty on the day of the incident.

"He has been placed under suspension and a departmental enquiry has been ordered," Dr Arpit Jain, the new superintendent of police, Sirsa, who assumed charge on Tuesday, told PTI over phone.

Deputy Speaker Gangwa told reporters here on Tuesday that those who pelted stones at his vehicle on Sunday cannot be called farmers.

"They cannot be called farmers. I can say those who attacked looked like addicts...," he said.

Gangwa also indicated that had local police acted in a timely manner the incident could have been prevented.

State Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta told reporters that everyone has the right to hold protest in a peaceful way, but no one can take law into one's hands.

"The way the deputy speaker's car was attacked, the events could have taken any ugly turn..," Gupta said.

Sirsa police had earlier said the rear windscreen of Gangwa's SUV broke as stones were pelted.

Farmers carrying black flags had assembled outside Chaudhary Devi Lal University in Sirsa on Sunday during the day and raised slogans against the government.

While Gangwa, who is a BJP MLA from Nalwa in Hisar, was coming out of the varsity after attending a function, protesters targeted his car, the police had said.

Despite heavy police presence, some managed to surround the vehicle and banged against it with their hands.

Some stones were also pelted at the vehicle as police were trying to escort it out of the area.

Gangwa had escaped unhurt in the incident, police had said.

Protesting farmers have been opposing public functions of the BJP and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) in the state.

Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi's borders for over seven months in protest against the Centre's three agri laws.


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