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Farmer's Death Amidst Tensions Over Leader 'Detentions' in Sangrur

A man died during Sagrur, Punjab protest and five policemen are injured.

Vivek Singh
A man dead during the Sangrur farmer's protest (Photo Courtesy: @Partap_Sbajwa/Twitter)
A man dead during the Sangrur farmer's protest (Photo Courtesy: @Partap_Sbajwa/Twitter)

A man died after being hit by a tractor-trolley in Sangrur district. A clash between farmers and police led to injuries to at least five police men. The conflict arose from the detention of agricultural leaders. The victim was identified as a protesting farmer from the Longowal area, where police were trying to prevent the obstruction of a national highway and toll plaza.

On the day prior to a planned protest in Chandigarh involving 16 agricultural organizations, including the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and Bharti Kisan Union, farmers staged a protest demanding compensation for flood-related losses. Despite police efforts to prevent it, farmers succeeded in breaking through barricades using vehicles like tractor-trolleys and buses. This resulted in injuries to several police officers, including an inspector who narrowly escaped being crushed by a tractor-trolley and another officer with facial injuries. The protest aimed to block the Sangrur-Barnala national highway and the Badbar toll plaza.

During a protest, farmer Pritam Singh tragically died after being struck by a protester-associated tractor-trolley, leading to severe injuries. The incident, captured on video, depicted the farmer caught under the trolley's rear tires while fellow farmers unsuccessfully tried to halt the vehicle. The police attributed the incident to reckless behavior by a subset of tractor and bus drivers in the protest, which escalated into violence, including some protesters attacking policemen with sticks. The Senior Superintendent of Police stated that the situation had calmed down and law enforcement had shown restraint in handling the situation.

Earlier, farm leaders including Sarwan Singh Pandher of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), Satkar Singh Kotli from KMSC, and Bohr Singh of BKU (Behramke) were reportedly detained by Punjab Police after raids on their homes. Initially planned at Chandigarh's Sector 17, the protest's location was shifted to Sector 25 by local authorities, possibly contributing to the tensions and events that unfolded during the protest.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, a leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, criticized the AAP government for the death of a farmer in Sangrur. Badal found the killing of farmer Pritam Singh during a peaceful protest in broad daylight at Longowal shocking and alleged that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's involvement warranted a murder case against him. He demanded accountability for senior police officers implicated in the incident.

Partap Singh Bajwa, a Punjab Congress leader, condemned the AAP-led Punjab government for its stringent measures. Bajwa expressed concern on Twitter about the arrests of several farmer union leaders and ongoing police raids targeting other leaders. Meanwhile, farmer leaders from Haryana reported police detentions of individuals linked to the Bharatiya Kisan Union. Amarjit Singh Mohari and others were reportedly detained in Ambala, and Sandeep Singh was held in Kurukshetra.

The Ambala Police increased their presence along the Haryana-Punjab border to maintain order. Bajwa criticized the government for not addressing farmers' genuine demands, accusing Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of deceptive promises regarding farmer relief.

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