Haryana was at the center of a brimming controversy throughout the day. After videos of police action against farmers in Karnal surfaced, another footage caught the attention of social media users that raised many questions.
In the video, Karnal's Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha was seen standing in front of a group of policemen and instructing them to "break heads" of protesting farmers, drawing severe criticism from all quarters.
"Whoever he is, wherever he is from, no one should be allowed to reach there. We will not let this line be breached at any cost. Just pick up your lathi and hit them hard...It's 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, crack their heads," Sinha is heard saying in the video.
The over one-minute long video was also posted by BJP MP Varun Gandhi who said this was "unacceptable" in democratic India to do to our own citizens.
"I hope this video is edited and the DM did not say this… Otherwise, this is unacceptable in democratic India to do to our own citizens," Gandhi said.
At least 10 people were injured on Saturday as police allegedly lathicharged a group of farmers disrupting traffic movement on a highway while heading towards Karnal to protest against a Bharatiya Janata Party meeting attended by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, state BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar and other leaders.
Farmers protesting against three farm laws of the Centre have been opposing the public functions of the ruling BJP-JJP combine in Haryana. Several farmers had gathered at the Bastara toll plaza near Karnal, responding to a call given by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).
The state police drew severe criticism for the action against the farmers and several roads were blockaded at different places in protest. The police, however, said only mild force was used as the protesters were blocking the highway, affecting traffic movement.