Farm laws: Cong workers try to march to Haryana CM's home, face water cannons
Chandigarh: Police used water cannons Wednesday as Punjab Youth Congress workers jumped barricades trying to march to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's home here, protesting over the new farm laws.
The activists wanted to 'gherao' Khattar's home to protest against the use of water cannons and teargas against Punjab farmers last week, when the Haryana Police had tried to stop them from entering the state to continue their 'Delhi Chalo' march.
Punjab Youth Congress president Barinder Dhillon and 12 other activists were detained by Chandigarh Police and released in the evening.
A television journalist was hurt during the protest by a stone thrown by an unidentified person, prompting Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to pull up the Congress workers.
We came here to wake up the Khattar government, Dhillon told reporters. We will continue to fight till the farmers get justice, he said, appealing to all sections of society to support the agitation.
The Chandigarh Police first used water cannons against the Congress workers at barricades set up about three kilometers ahead of Khattar's official residence.
But some activists managed to reach closer to the CM's home after jumping over police barricades. Again, water cannons were used to stop them.
Police took several of them in custody. Some activists claimed police used canes to disperse them.
Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Chahal was present on the spot.
The roads leading to Khattar's home were sealed and there was heavy police deployment near it.
The protesters had earlier gathered near the Chandigarh headquarter of the Punjab Congress. They raised slogans against the BJP government at the Centre and in Haryana, calling them "anti-farmer .
A journalist from a private TV channel suffered a head injury when someone threw a stone at him during the protest.
Haryana Home minister Anil Vij, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal condemned the incident.
Vij called it an attempt to suppress the voice of independent media.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh too condemned it.
CM @capt_amarinder has strongly condemned alleged attack on some journalists by @IYCPunjab workers. He's expressed regret that@satenderchauhan was hurt & promised strict action against perpetrators of the violence, his media advisor tweeted.
You've to lead by example & uphold law, Amarinder told the Punjab Youth Congress.
Thousands of farmers, most of them from Punjab, are now gathered at Delhi's borders protesting against the three new laws enacted at the Centre in September. Farmer unions claim the new laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving farmers to the mercy of corporate houses.
But the government says the system will continue and the laws will give farmers more options to sell their crops.
Farm leaders met Union ministers on Tuesday, but the two sides failed to break the deadlock.