Police prohibited from caning protesting farmers

Two cops suspended for Koppal lathi-charge incident

Reacting to Friday’s lathi-charge against farmers in Koppal, the minister said here on Saturday that he has asked the DG and IGP to submit a report on the incident. Ashoka said he personally too disapproved of such methods and has strictly instructed the police not to use baton or any sort of force against agitating farmers.

Police resorted to lathi-charge to disburse farmers who were protesting delay in the payment of wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) at the taluk panchayat office in Koppal on Friday. Nine farmers were arrested.

Replying to a question on a private complaint filed against him, the Home minister denied any wrongdoing and said he had not received notice from anyone on the issue so far.

 “The case pertains to two acres of land I had purchased in 2003.  Bangalore Development Authority acquired the land for formation of the Ring Road, but denotified and returned 40 per cent of the land after completion of the project. I have not received compensation for acquisition of 60 per cent of the land,” Ashoka claimed.

When asked on the growing dissidence in BJP, the minister said that the party would go by the decision of the central leadership on the fate of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

Karnataka in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan has already held talks with legislators and State BJP president K S Eshwarappa too has concluded his Delhi tour after consulting senior leaders, he added.

Two suspended

An assistant sub-inspector and a constable attached to city police station have been suspended in connection with the lathi-charge on farmers in Koppal. Ramanna Naika and Tarasingh have been suspended pending an inquiry, SP Eshwarachandra Vidyasagar said in his order.

Resignation sought

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha has demanded the suspension of Koppal superintendent of police.

“Farmers were lathi-charged at the instigation of the SP and to hush up the failure of the deputy commissioner and the tahsildar in checking irregularities in MGNREGS. They were not staging protest with lethal weapons. The arrested farmers should be released at the earliest ,” KRRS working president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar said. He was in Koppal in view of the incident.

He threatened that farmers across the State would launch an agitation if the demands
were not met.

Dharna staged

Members of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene staged a dharna in Shimoga protesting police action against farmers. They charged the police with manhandling agitating women. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner.

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