'Incorrect choice of words': Haryana CM on "smash heads" remark
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said that an IAS officer's remarks to "crack the heads" of the protesting farmers were not right. He, however, added that strictness had to ensured to maintain law and order situation. A video of Karnal Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ayush Sinha had gone viral where he was heard giving such an order to cops, sparking outrage.
'Officer's choice of words was not correct'
"Although the officer's choice of words was not correct, strictness had to be maintained to ensure law and order situation there was kept under check," Khattar said at a press conference in Chandigarh. He added that the administration will look into the matter. "If any action has to be taken (against the officer), it would first have to be assessed by the district administration."
Sinha had made controversial remarks on Saturday
Sinha was caught on camera instructing police officers to hit farmers if they breached a certain barricade during their protest in Karnal. "Just pick up your lathi and hit them hard...It is very clear, there is no need for any instruction, just thrash them hard. If I see a single protester here, I want to see his head smashed," he had said.
10 people were injured in the baton-charge by police
On Saturday, at least 10 people were injured in the baton-charge by the police at the Bastara toll plaza near Karnal. Farmer leaders said several protesters suffered serious injuries. The farmers were protesting a meeting called by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) leaders. They had also blocked several stretches on the national highway, causing lengthy traffic jams.
Deputy CM Chautala had said action will be taken
On Sunday, Dushyant Chautala, the Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, had said the state government would take action against the officer. "I am pained from yesterday's incident. The way statements that don't meet ethical standards of an IAS officer were given by an IAS officer. Action will be initiated against him as per framework of time," he said.
BJP, Opposition leaders criticize officer's comments
Sinha's comments have triggered sharp criticism from many leaders, including from the BJP. "I hope this video is edited and the SDM did not say this," Varun Gandhi of the party said. "Otherwise, this is unacceptable in democratic India to do to our own citizens." "The seeds of cruelty being sown by the government will bear sour fruits," said the Shiv Sena.