Updated: September 27, 2021 2:57:18 am
An FIR was filed against 36 farmers on Saturday for allegedly trying to show black flags to BJP MP Varun Gandhi while he was on his way to attend a public meeting in his constituency, Pilibhit, two days ago.
The accused were booked for flouting Covid protocol by not wearing masks or maintaining social distance. Police said the accused farmers also tried to stop vehicles in Varun’s cavalcade which resulted in a heated argument between them and the police. Harish Vardhan Singh Rathore, station house officer of Pooranpur police station, said the farmers were holding a protest demanding rollback of the three agricultural laws brought by the central government.
The Pilibhit MP has not only tweeted support for the agitating farmers, but also wrote to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath a few days back seeking a substantial increase in sugarcane prices, bonus on wheat and paddy, doubling of grants under PM-KISAN scheme and subsidy on diesel, among other relief measures.
According to police, the cavalcade of the BJP MP was passing through Mohanpur crossing on Friday afternoon when a few farmers belonging to Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) tried to stop it and show him black flags. However, the police team at the spot intervened and stopped the agitating farmers, resulting in a heated argument. The police had to eventually resort to a mild lathi charge to disperse the protesters.
The sleuths claimed that the agitating farmers were also found to be in violation of the Covid protocol.
A case was registered at the Pooranpur police station against 21 farmers by their names and another 15 who couldn’t be identified. They were booked under various IPC sections, including 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), a police officer said. They were also charged under various sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
Devendra Singh, who was among the farmers named in the FIR, said, “We were upset as despite scheduling time on Friday, Varun Gandhi did not meet us. What made us angry was that while he could tweet for us and send a letter to the chief minister, he did not have time to meet us.”
Singh, the district president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Maha Shakti), further claimed that he wasn’t at the spot during the agitation and was wrongly named in the case. He added that he even met officials of the district administration and told them that he was wrongly named in the FIR. “I was told that action would only be taken on the basis of evidence.”
Gurvinder Singh, another farmer, said, “I am a member of Annadata Kisan Union and had gone to Bhumchai crossing to meet Varun Gandhi. Pilibhit district administration had arranged a meeting between him and a few farmers. As the MP didn’t show up, I left for home and am not aware of what happened thereafter.”
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