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Friday, February 26, 2021

At Singhu border, legal cell to help those arrested, missing

Five lawyers from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, aged between 24 and 34, have stationed themselves at the main stage at the protest site to be easily accessible to protesters.

Written by Sukrita Baruah , Kamaldeep Singh Brar | New Delhi |
Updated: February 5, 2021 7:08:09 pm
Five lawyers from the Punjab and Haryana High Court sit near the main stage at the protest site. (Express photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

A group of young lawyers from Punjab have set up a legal help desk at the Singhu border to help arrested farmers as well as those believed to be missing.

Five lawyers from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, aged between 24 and 34, have stationed themselves at the main stage at the protest site to be easily accessible to protesters.

“We are a team of about 150 advocates and are coordinating across all three protest sites. We are currently working with 181 people — of whom 128 have been arrested and the rest are believed to be missing. For the arrested people, we are focusing on their bail and mulaqat,” said Ramandeep Kaur (24), an advocate from Mansa.

The legal team said it is working to establish contact with the families of all those who are either arrested or missing, and are now in touch with around 60 families. “We are still working on it; we are getting information from their friends who are here and people who came on the same trolleys as them. We are also going from trolley to trolley to collect information as well as spread awareness that our services are available,” said Kaur.

The team has also circulated a helpline number through Kisan Ekta Morcha social media handles and local news channels.

Internet curbs at the border, however, have meant that some work has been affected. “We are coordinating with other members of our team in Punjab for things that require the internet. For instance, we can’t access FIRs online here, so we call them and tell them the FIR numbers and they access them,” said Sukhveer Kaur Brar (27) from Chandigarh.

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) claimed at least 21 persons are still missing since Republic Day violence, who are neither mentioned in FIRs nor have they returned home.

“We have inquired about 21 such persons… Their families and friends have contacted us. Besides these persons are also not mentioned in FIRs registered by Delhi Police,” claimed Bhangu, who is helping the legal team.

SKM has not yet decided to file a police complaint in connection with those they believe are missing. According to SKM, 115 persons have been arrested by Delhi Police since January 26 and five have been granted bail.

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