Opposition blames govt for violence during farmers' stir

Opposition blames govt for violence during farmers' stir

Opposition blames govt for violence during farmers' stir

The State government on Friday came under severe criticism from the combined opposition in the two Houses of the legislature on Friday for “failing to control incidents of violence” during the protest by farmers in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The police had lathicharged farmers from Chikkaballapur and Kolar when they tried to proceed towards Vidhana Soudha to press the State government for a solution to water problems in their drought-hit districts. The protest had also led to a huge traffic chaos in Bengaluru.

In the Assembly, Opposition BJP and JD(S) members took up the issue as soon as proceedings began on Friday morning, demanding a judicial probe into the incident and also a public apology from the government for “police excesses against the farmers”.

Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar (BJP) said that the government failed to take adequate measures to prevent the protest from turning violent.

“What happened to your intelligence machinery? Why was there no alert? The farmers have the right to protest but the government mismanaged the entire situation resulting in hardship for people. There was also police high-handedness against the farmers,” Shettar said.

H D Kumaraswamy (JD-S) said the government was responsible for creating a situation for the protest to turn violent. “Why did no minister meet the farmers? Why were the farmers prevented from entering the city?” he sought to know.

Kumaraswamy said the farmers were sceptical of the government’s promise that the Yettinahole project would address their water woes. He said the government had made no effort to address their apprehensions.

Cases to be withdrawn

Home Minister G Parameshwara told the Assembly that all cases registered against 11 farmers during their protest in Bengaluru will be withdrawn.

Parameshwara said the police had no other option but to use “mild force” when the agitating farmers did not heed to repeated requests not to breach the barricades.
He said firstly the farmers had violated police orders by bringing tractors to their protest march. The police had told them that bringing tractors inside the city would cause traffic chaos.

The agitators had jumped the barricades placed by the police at Devanahalli, Yelahanka and again at Mehkri Circle. However, when the farmers tried to break the barricade at Windsor Manor bridge the police had to use force to prevent them proceeding further, the minister said. Parameshwara said  some protesters had resorted to violence and threw stones on public transport buses and even school vans.

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