The Sangrur Police on Wednesday lathi-charged protesting agricultural labourers outside Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s rented accommodation. The labourers demanded an increase of minimum daily wages to ₹700 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA), implementing five-marla plot schemes for Dalits and allotment of the third part of common panchayat land on lease to the community.
They were protesting under the flag of Sanjha Mazdoor Morcha, a joint front of eight labour unions. Hundreds of agricultural labourers gathered near Patiala – Bathinda road in Sangrur in the morning and later around 3pm, they marched towards the chief minister’s rented accommodation.
When they reached outside the private colony, where Mann’s residence is located, the police started using force on them and also resorted to the lathi-charge.
Sangrur superintendent of police (SP) Manpreet Singh led the cane-charging and was caught hitting protestors in videos. He can be seen hitting protesters and directing other cops in the videos.
President of the Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee Mukesh Malaud said, “Earlier the chief minister had given a meeting to us but later he refused to meet us. Now, we are forced to protest to raise our demands.”