Over 50 injured as Haryana farmers clash with police (Second Lead)

July 22nd, 2012 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Rewari (Haryana), July 22 (IANS) Over 50 people, including 40 police personnel, were injured Sunday afternoon as an agitation by farmers against land acquisition turned violent near Asalwas village in Haryana’s Rewari district, police said.

Police fired in the air after a cane-charge and bursting of tear-gas failed to control the farmers in Bawal block of the district who blocked the busy Delhi-Jaipur national highway, some 325 km from state capital Chandigarh.

The protesting villagers, mostly from the Gujjar community, held some policemen captive for some time, torched a police post and set vehicles on fire.

Police sources said that five vehicles, including state transport buses, were set on fire.

Unconfirmed reports said that one farmer received a bullet injury in the stomach.

The farmers, who were opposing land acquisition in their area, had gathered for a mahapanchayat to discuss the acquisition of over 3,000 acres of land by the state government in nearly 20 villages for setting up an industrial area.

The Bawal belt of this district already has an industrial estate and the Haryana government wants to extend that further.

A district administration official said that farmers set on fire the police post at Kasola village.

Trouble broke out when the farmers moved towards the highway and blocked it.

Earlier this month, the protesting farmers here had damaged government property and vehicles to protest against the land acquisition.

Rewari Deputy Commissioner C. G. Rajnikanthan and Superintendent of Police Abhishek Garg appealed to the members of the committee of agitating farmers and other people to maintain peace and not to take law in their own hands. They urged them to solve the issue of land acquisition in a peaceful manner.

Rajnikanthan said that the mahapanchayat regarding land acquisition was held at village Asalwas Sunday.

“Immediately after the mahapanchayat, the members of Sangharsh Samiti blocked the National Highway No. 8. Despite repeated requests to lift the blockade, they did not pay any heed and pelted stones on police during which a woman deputy superintendent of police, along with 40 other personnel, were injured,” a spokesman said in Chandigarh.

He said that people have been urged by the district administration to maintain law and order in the district and not to destroy public property.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also urged the protesting farmers to resolve the issue through dialogue and not to take law in their own hands.

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