February 10, 2021 9:35:23 am
With Samyukt Kisan Morcha claiming that whereabouts of at least 25 persons are not known since January 26 after they participated in a tractor rally in the national capital that turned violent, the family of at least one of them – a 27-year old from Haryana’s Jind, heaved a sigh of relief with the Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jhajjar to provide all possible assistance to Delhi Police to locate him.
A writ of habeas corpus seeking the whereabouts of Bajinder Singh was filed before the court Monday. Bajinder had joined the tractor rally against the farm laws.
On Tuesday, Delhi Police told the court that three teams have been constituted to locate Bajinder and they have interrogated 15 people in this regard. The police also told the court that it has not arrested any such person in connection with the violence which occurred on January 26. The matter will be next heard on February 17.
In the case filed by his cousin Baljeet, it has been stated that Bajinder never returned after the rally and since then his whereabouts are not known. The family had earlier approached the Nangloi police station for registering a missing person’s complaint but the Station House Officer refused to do so, the court was told on Monday.
“The inaction and negligent attitude of the police have led to the apprehension that his brother has been illegally detained and, therefore, they are deliberately resisting from writing any official complaint or FIR and providing any information to the petitioner in this regard,” Baljeet’s counsel said in the writ filed before the court.
Among those still missing after the January 26 tractor march is 70-year-old Jorawar Singh, a resident of village Ikkloni in Punjab’s Khanna. His daughter Paramjit Kaur (37) has filed a complaint with the Punjab Police.
“My father has done farming all his life. He had been attending the protests in Punjab and moved to Delhi on November 26 last year after the agitation shifted to the national capital. I met him at Singhu border on January 23 and urged him to return home. He said he won’t return until the bills are repealed. Kesar Singh, with whom my father had been sharing the trolley, has informed me that he hasn’t returned after the January 26 tractor parade. He has no cellphone. We are searching for him since then,” Paramjit Kaur told the The Indian Express.
A father of four, Jorawar Singh’s eldest son is a bus driver while Paramjit Kaur lives with him. His youngest son and wife are long deceased.
“He was disturbed over the new farm laws. He took it to his heart. I appeal farmer leaders and police to find him,” said Paramjit Kaur.
Convenor of the legal committee of the SKM Prem Singh Bhangu said they have pruned their list of missing persons from 32 to 25 after seven of them were traced, including some who are in jail.
The Indian Express called on available phone numbers of relatives and friends of missing persons. Most of the families confirmed that they have traced missing persons to Tihar Jail or outside. However, their names still figure in the SKM’s list of missing protesters. Bhangu said they update the list after receiving information from families.
Two such persons, Panthpreet Singh (29) and Armandeep Singh (22), both from Bathinda, have been traced to Tihar Jail.
Panthpreet is unmarried with small landhodling. He used to cook for his father who is physically challenged. His mother had died around 10 years back. Now his father is dependent on relatives and dhabas for cooked food.
“He and Armandeep were picked from outside Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in connection with an FIR lodged at Najafgarh police station. Armandeep had gone to Delhi with a Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) team. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is providing legal help,” said Kuldeep Singh, a relative.
Armandeep, whose father is truck driver, had gone to Delhi in solidarity with farmers. “ We don’t have farming land. I had called DSGMC president who has assured legal help,” said father Harcharan Singh. Armandeep, he said, is pursuing graduation from a private college.
Similarly, three persons – Ramadeep Singh (24) and Lovepreet Singh (20) from village Jattana Kalan, and Jaswinder Singh (30) from village Bhalaike Junir of Mansa district – have been arrested in connection with a case filed at Baba Haridas Nagar police station. According to families, they were arrested on January 26 evening.
Jaswinder works at a pesticide shop whereas Lovepreet and Jaspreet are into farming. Their families have land holdings of less than five acres.
“They are friends and had went to Delhi together with BKU (Ughrahan) team. They were arrested from near the Tikri border while moving on a bike. They have no criminal record,” said Gurmail Singh, uncle of Ramandeep.
Meanwhile, the SKM expressed worries over “unidentified persons” booked by Delhi Police in three FIRs.
“A total of 22 FIRs are registered of which 18 are by name. In three FIRs, unidentified and suspected persons are mentioned. Two of these FIRs are registered at Punjabi Bagh police station and one at Kirti Nagar. We are worried as the police can name anyone in these FIRs,” said Bhangu.
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