Three former judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court have expressed their support for farmers protesting against Centre’s farm laws, and have urged the Union government to listen to their grievances with an open mind.
In a note released to the media on Wednesday, Justice M S Gill, Justice Ranjit Singh and Justice Nawab Singh also criticised the manner in which the farmers were treated by Haryana Police. “It was not only undemocratic, but brutal as well. Use of indiscriminate water cannons in this harsh cold winter and use of lathis and other means would put any democratic government to shame. In return farmers were seen offering water and food to lathi wielding police.”
They said they have chosen to speak out after seeing how the entire farming community in the country was highly aggrieved against the farm laws recently enacted by the central government.
“We fail to understand and appreciate the urgency shown by the central government in introducing these farm laws by first issuing ordinances that too when whole nation was in lockdown condition and fighting the serious pandemic engulfing the entire world. Was there any urgency or emergency to take the route through ordinances?” they asked.
The farmers protest, they said, is now not confined to the states of Punjab and Haryana, but is spread pan India in states like Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
“Government needs to realise the difficulty of the small and marginal farmers to deal with big corporates,” the note said. The judges “appealed to the good conscience of government to hear the cries of farmers and consider their demands with open mind to find a solution to the grievances of the farmers as otherwise protest or unrest in border state like Punjab may not augur well for peace in the country”.
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