Students of Punjab University have written to the Chief Justice of India to direct an inquiry into the “illegitimate” use of water cannons, tear gas, and lathis by the police in Haryana against protesting farmers. In an open letter to the CJI, the students said an “obstinate and callous” government had resorted to violence against the farmers on their way to the borders of the national capital to support the peaceful protests. against the farm laws. “After more than two months of peaceful protests in their home States, served with incompatible gestures of the Government of India, farmers (felt marooned) decided to approach the national Capital, Delhi. The peaceful protesters (farmers) were thrashed and walloped. It seems raising voice for the fundamental rights as provided by the Supreme Law of the Nation is a dreadful crime (which it is not),” they wrote.
As students who believe in the tenets of human rights, they said they were “very disturbed and disheartened” by the “execrable” manner in which the Centre was dealing with the nation’s farmers. The students, who have annexed photographs of injured farmers, many of whom are senior citizens, said the violence spewed out against them by the police was “macabre”. “We believe the course of action taken by the Government of India is insensitive ...Farmers in India, who consider land as their sacrosanct mother, are so much threatened, feared, and fretted that they have no way left out, but peaceful protests to showcase their pathetic vulnerability even amidst a global pandemic,” they wrote.
They asked the court to direct the Haryana and Delhi police to withdraw the cases lodged against the farmers. The letter urged the court to “look into the illegal detention of protesters”. ‘Ensure safety’ “Direct the governments at both Central and State level to ensure the safety of all protesters, and provide basic amenities for all, especially women, children, and elderly. Mobile toilet vans should be provided at protest places. Issue appropriate guidelines, as the court may deem fit, regarding hygienic conditions at protest sites in the backdrop of COVID19,” they said. The letter also said action should be taken against media channels who misrepresent the protesting farmers as separatists. “Take action to curb fake news and against media channels, engaged in misrepresentation, polarisation, and sensationalization of the whole issue,” the letter requested.
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