Police on Saturday resorted to use tear gas, water cannons and lathis to disperse the Congress workers who were marching towards the governor’s house in Bhopal, the capital of India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh, in support of the farmers protesting against the three Central farm laws.
The Madhya Pradesh Congress’s two-week-long programme in support of the farmers’ agitation came to a rather chaotic end. What began as a mass of party workers led by former Chief Minister Kamal Nath waving and cheering ended utterly muddled as the police finally resorted to a baton-charge. Many Congress functionaries and a few police personnel suffered injuries in the clash.
According to sources, hundreds of Congress workers first gathered at Jawahar Chowk area late Saturday morning, planning to gherao the Raj Bhavan.
Earlier, Kamal Nath had said that the Congress’s movement ought to be viewed as an awareness drive. Visuals showed him, along with other senior Congress leaders atop a bus, leading the party workers in the event.
When the rally approached Raj Bhawan, the police began to sound out warning notes. As the Congressmen began wrestling the barricades, senior officials announced on loudspeakers that force would be used to deter them. Soon they used water cannons on the Congress workers and followed it up with tear gas canisters.
Visuals show a sea of people carrying placards and flags rushing away from an advancing police force. Another video showed a group of people surrounding a police vehicle, when the police used water cannon against them.
And the police later baton-charged and the crowd began to break up as many fled.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and other states have camped in and around Delhi in protest against the three farm laws. Several political parties, including the Congress, have voiced their support to the agitating farmers.
After ten rounds of talks failed, the protesters and the government reached a deadlock on Friday.