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Plea in SC says govts have violated farmers' rights

February 24, 2024 00:28 IST

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court alleging violation of the rights of the 'peacefully protesting' farmers by the Centre and some states.

IMAGE: Agitating farmers move away after Haryana police fire tear gas shells to disperse them as they resume their Delhi Challo March, at the Shambhu border (Punjab-Haryana) in Patiala. Photograph: ANI Photo

The plea claimed the Centre and some states have issued 'threats' and fortified the national capital's borders, after several farmer unions called protests seeking legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for their crops and implementation of the Swaminathan committee's recommendations.


'The petitioner is seeking a writ of mandamus in the interest of the farmers who are facing unfair treatment in their peaceful protests,' said the petition filed by Agnostos Theos, Managing Director of the Sikh Chamber of Commerce.

It claimed some of the protestors were forcibly arrested, detained by various state governments, and the Centre has unduly invoked prohibitory measures, including blocking social media accounts, rerouting traffic and blocking roads.

It alleged the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have employed 'aggressive and violent measures', like using tear gas, rubber bullets and pellets against the farmers, causing them serious injuries.

In the absence of medical aid, the injuries were aggravated and also caused deaths, the plea claimed, adding that fortifications at Delhi's borders have created a 'hostile and violent situation', and did not allow the farmers to exercise their democratic right to protest.

'The peaceful farmers have been subject to conditions similar to terrorists by their own government, simply for the exercise of their democratic and constitutional rights,' it said.

The plea sought a direction against the Centre, the four states and the National Human Rights Commission to 'consider the reasonable demands of the farmers from across India, who are in continuous peaceful protest, demonstration and agitation'.

It also sought directions to the respondents to ensure 'fair and respectful treatment of the protesting farmers', besides allowing free movement.

The plea sought a report about alleged human rights violations by police, besides adequate compensation for the victim farmers and their families.

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