Cong to hold state-wide protest on Jun 16

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Bangalore, Jun 12 (UNI) The Congress in Karnataka will hold statewide protest on June 16 against recent police firing in Haveri which left one person dead and several injured and seeking judicial probe into the incident.

Stating this at a press conference here today, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also Opposition Leader in the Legislative Assembly, said party workers would stage dharna and picket all the Deputy Commissioner Offices in the Districts on Monday.

Mr Kharge alleged the BJP Government totally failed to handle the farmers' agitation against inadequate supply of fertilisers and trying to mislead the public by alleging 'no farmer was involved in the protest and dubbing all those on streets demanding fertilisers as anti-social elements.' ''The Chief Minister, who has taken oath of office in the name of farmers, has started to target and trying to silence them by using brutal police force,'' Mr Kharge charged.

Mr Kharge asked the Chief Minister to make it clear whether the person killed and injured were anti-social elements or farmers.

He said he visited the deceased farmer's house and handed over a demand draft for Rs two lakh on behalf of the KPCC.

Criticising Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa for trying to politicise the farmers agitation, Mr Kharge opined the farmers' protest against the state government was spontaneous and no political party was behind it.

''Let the government order a judicial inquiry into the firing to unravel the truth,'' he challenged.

Mr Kharge said the Chief Minister changing stand on the availability of fertiliser also contributed largely to fuelling farmers' agitation.

''One day Yeddyurappa states there is sufficient stock of fertiliser and very next day he himself contradicts his own words, creating uncertainty over the issue leading to violent agitation,'' he said.

The State Government has committed a grave crime against farming community by gunning down an innocent farmer,'' he charged.

UNI MV MSP SB AS1948

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