Staff member

Badal August 22:
In the ongoing agitation of landless labourers under the banner of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union against the Muktsar district administration and state government, a clash with the police left 50 injured.
The incident took place when after a verbal duel with the police at Kheowali village charged up the protesters, who wanted to hold a demonstration in front of the ancestral house of the chief minister at Badal village. When the cops failed in controlling them it then used force. In what ensued the cops used lathis, water cannons and rubber bullets while the labourers pelted the police with stones.
Muktsar SSP Gurpreet Gill claimed that it were the labourers who attacked the police first and the latter acted in self-defence. However, Sukha Singh, a labourer admitted at Bathinda hospital with many injuries, alleged that it was the police which started beating the labourers without any provocation. Among the injured were six women and seven policemen.
The labourers were now continuing with their dharna at Kheowali, near Badal village. It all started when at a meeting the CM had reportedly conceded their five demands and the agitators had agreed to withdraw the stir. “In the past four months the state government showed no concern about fulfilling the five demands, forcing us to start the agitation on Wednesday,” said Laxman Singh Sewewala, general secretary of the union.
On Wednesday when labourers assembled at Lambi and threatened the protest march, the district administration held a meeting with the farmers' body leaders. But after failing to reach a consensus the labourers went ahead with their march.