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Farmers Call Off Karnal Protest After Govt Promises Inquiry Against IAS Officer

"After discussions, we have collectively decided to call off the protest here", Haryana BKU chief said.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>File photo: As farmers continue their protest in Karnal, on Thursday, 9 September, the Haryana government has imposed a suspension on mobile internet and SMS services in the district.</p></div>
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After the fourth round of meetings between farmer unions and the Haryana government, protesting farmers agreed to call off their agitation in Haryana's Karnal district, on Saturday 11 September.

"After discussions, we have collectively decided to call off the protest here (outside mini-secretariat)", Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Gurnam Singh Charuni, told ANI, after a meeting with the administration in Karnal.

A former high court judge will be conducting a month-long inquiry into the 28 August lathicharge incident and will also look into the role of former SDM Ayush Sinha, who will be sent on leave during this period, reported Hindustan Times.

“A judicial inquiry of the incident (lathicharge) at the Bastara toll plaza on August 28 will be conducted by a retired high court judge and the judge will submit the report in one month. During the investigation, IAS officer Ayush Sinha will remain on leave.”
Devender Singh, additional chief secretary to Haryana government, quoted by Hindustan Times

The previous meeting on Friday had also reportedly ended on a "positive note", with farmer leaders hinting that the deadlock could end soon.

The farmers said that most of their issues pertaining to the clashes last month were resolved and that only two or three were left for discussion at the next meeting on Saturday.

In the meeting on Friday, the Haryana government agreed to compensate the deceased farmer Sushil Kajal's two family members with jobs at DC rate on sanctioned posts, said Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh, Govt of Haryana.

The state government also reportedly assured the protesters that they would initiate action against Sinha.

Congress Should Stop Misleading People: Khattar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, on Saturday, 11 September, asked the Congress party to "stop misleading people", reported ANI.

"A specific section of people are involved in farmers' stir. Not all of them are farmers. All such actions are politically motivated, and everyone is aware of those who are behind such kinds of statements (against Haryana govt)," he said, according to ANI.

"If anyone disrupts law & order, then it is the duty of state administration to maintain it. Congress shouldn't achieve political ambitions by making such statements. This harms society & the state. If they seek to fulfil their role as opposition, they shouldn't incite people."

A group of farmers met Khattar on Saturday reportedly to thank him after the state increased sugarcane price by Rs 12 per quintal, as per ANI. "Centre and state government are continuously working for farmers' benefit. We introduced the concept of announcing MSP of crops before it is sown," said Khattar.

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Background

The farmers have been staging an indefinite protest since 7 September, at the Karnal mini-secretariat, against a police lathicharge from last month, that had left 10 injured.

The protesting farmers had been demanding the suspension of IAS officer Ayush Sinha, the then Karnal SDM who was seen instructing policemen to “break heads” of the protesting farmers if need in a viral video. They had also sought the registration of an FIR against Sinha.

In addition, the agitating farmers were also seeking compensation of Rs 25 lakh and a government job for the family of farmer Sushil Kajal, who they claimed died due to police action, and a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the injured farmers.

(With inputs from IANS, ANI, The Indian Express and Hindustan Times)

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