A man died after coming under a tractor-trolley and at least five policeman were injured on Monday as farmers clashed with police in Punjab's Sangrur over the "detention" of farmer leaders ahead of a planned protest.
The incident happened when farmers were protesting a day ahead of a planned demonstration in Chandigarh by 16 farm bodies. The farmers were stopped but forced their way through the barricades.
The deceased was identified as a farmer taing part in Sangrur's Longowal area. Among the five injured policeman, an inspector was severely injured.
The tractor-trolley that killed the protesting man belonged to a fellow protester, as per police.
The deceased was a farmer apparently taking part in the protest in the district's Longowal area, where police were trying to stop protesters from blocking a national highway and a toll plaza, officials told PTI.
Sixteen farm bodies, including the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Bharti Kisan Union (Karanti kari), BKU (Ekta Azaad), Aazaad Kisan Committee, Doaba, BKU (Behramke) and the Bhoomi Bachao Mohim are set to protest on Tuesday to seek compensation for losses caused by floods.
Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Surendra Lamba said the members of the farmer union wanted to block the Sangrur-Barnala national highway and also the Badbar toll plaza but police refused to let them, reported PTI, adding that Lamba further said the the farmers forced their way through barricades using tractor-trolleys and buses and some people drove their tractors into the barricades.
The police told PTI that a police inspector escaped being crushed under a tractor-trolley but was severely injured adding that another policeman sustained injuries to his face and three more were hurt as well.
A video purportedly showing the elderly farmer coming under the rear tyres of the trolley surfaced on social media, reported PTI, adding that some farmers could be seen asking the vehicle's driver to stop but he did not. The police further said that the incident took place because of the irresponsible behaviour of a few tractor and bus drivers during the protest.
Early on Monday, farmers claimed that several of their leaders, including Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) president Sarwan Singh Pandher, Satkar Singh Kotli of the KMSC, Bohr Singh of the BKU (Behramke), had been "detained" by the Punjab Police.
A farmer leader in Tarn Taran district said police allegedly conducted raids at the residences of farm leaders and detained them, reported PTO.