The protesting farmers, including those from Punjab, may face legal action with Haryana Police lodging several FIRs against them for breaking police barricades to move to the national capital as part of their “Delhi Chalo” call.
Besides Ambala district, hundreds of farmers have been booked for rioting, unlawful assembly, obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, damage to public property and provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in Panipat, Rohtak, Kaithal, Sirsa and other districts.
Terming them false, the Congress claimed the FIRs have been lodged against “20,000 farmers” at different police stations of Haryana. Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said lodging of an FIR against a youth, Navdeep Singh, who had climbed the water cannon to turn it off during farmers’ stir in Ambala district on November 25, is “shameful”. “What type of justice is this? How a youth can be booked for attempt to murder charges for just turning off the water cannon which was used on farmers during cold?” Surjewala asked.
However, the police claim that the FIRs have been lodged only in those cases where any offence was committed or criminal force was used.
The police have denied that the FIRs have been lodged against “20,000 farmers”, adding that the numbers in the FIRs have been mentioned to depict the sequence of events. “Who will lodge FIRs against 20,000 farmers and who will arrest them?” a senior police officer asked.
According to one such FIR lodged at Dabwali police station of Sirsa district, the farmers broke the police barricading at 10:15 am on November 27, allegedly “pushed the policemen and indulged in brawl with them”.
It was lodged on the complaint of a constable in connection with the breach of barricading on Dabwali border on Bathinda road leading to Haryana from Punjab.
“As many as 10/12,000 unknown farmers and members of other organisations were sitting on the road towards Punjab side to jam the Bathinda road on November 25. They were raising slogans against the government. The officers tried to convince them not to take law into hands… They damaged government property and violated orders related to corona pandemic,” the FIR read.
A case against some farmers from the BKU (Charuni) and others from Punjab was also registered at Panipat for violations relating to breaking police barriers and other charges.
“A case has been registered under the provisions of Section 188 of the IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other provisions of the IPC,” Inspector Rajvir Singh, SHO of Panipat’s Police Station (Industrial) in Sector 29, said over the phone.
Justifying registration of cases, DGP Manoj Yadava said, “The cases have been lodged where stones were thrown on the police and the policemen suffered injuries. Those who have suffered injuries lodged their complaints. If any offence takes place or criminal force is used, the police have to register an FIR. We have registered cases, like we lodge cases on the complaint of the common man.”
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