Ahmedabad: At least seven policemen, including District Superintended of Police R V Asari, were today injured in stone pelting when cops tried to stop a farmers’ rally near Sanand town in Gujarat.
Police resorted to lathicharge and lobbying of tear gas shells after senior police officials of the district were injured in stone pelting.
According to Asari, who received injury on his head, some agitating farmers hurled stones on the policemen deployed on Sanand-Nal Sarovar road, from where, farmers living near Nal Sarovar had planned to take out their rally till Gandhinagar to protest scarcity of irrigation water.
“To raise the issue of water supply, farmers living in villages near Nal Sarovar had announced to take a rally till Gandhinagar today, for which, police had already denied them permission. When the rally reached near Sanand, we tried to convince some of their leaders not to go ahead,” said Asari.
“When our talks were on with leaders, some persons in the rally started throwing stones on policemen, injuring at least 7 personnel, including me. We then resorted to mild lathicharge and fired some tear gas shells to control the situation. There are no reports of civilian injury yet,” said the SP, who remained stationed at the spot after getting first aid.
He claimed that unidentified persons in the rally resorted to violence after their leaders agreed to stop the rally at Sanand after being convinced by police.
“The rally consisted around 3,000 persons. We have detained around 15 persons involved in the violence. A formal FIR will be lodged in this regard at Sanand GIDC police station. The situation is totally under control,” added Asari.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress and Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel criticised the police action to use force against farmers.
“Police thrashed innocent farmers at the behest of BJP-led Gujarat Government, which is known for suppressing people who raise their voices,” alleged Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.
“We condemn such atrocity on farmers, who were just demanding adequate water for their farmlands,” Doshi added.
In a statement, Hardik said BJP government is trying every trick in the book to retain power by terrorising people.
“Farmers were lathicharged for raising a legitimate demand. Such atrocities proves that this government is anti-farmer. It is their known method of being in power by terrorising people and suppress every voice of dissent. In coming days, farmers will take appropriate decision in this regard,” said the fire-brand leader.