The central government Tuesday, during the hearing on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of farm laws, in Supreme Court claimed that ‘Khalistanis’ have infiltrated the ongoing farmers’ protest on Delhi borders.
The claim made by Attorney General K K Venugopal came in response when the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde enquired about the charges by one of the parties that a banned outfit, ‘Sikhs for Justice’, was aiding the protests.
“We have been informed there is a Khalistani infiltration in the protests,” the Attorney General said in response, adding that he will file an affidavit along with the necessary inputs of the intelligence bureau (IB).
The bench comprising CJI Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian has asked Venugopal to file the affidavit by Wednesday.
During the hearing, senior advocate P S Narasimha, appearing on behalf of the ‘Indian Kisan Union’, which supports the new farm laws, had alleged that some banned organisations have been fuelling the protests of farmers.
“These kinds of protests can be dangerous,” he said, adding that organisations such as “Sikhs for Justice” are involved in these agitations.
The bench then told Venugopal that somebody has made an allegation on record that there are some banned organisations which are helping the protest.
“Will you confirm this or deny?” it asked the AG.
The Attorney General said: “We have said that ‘Khalistanis’ have infiltrated the farmers” protest. We can file an affidavit by tomorrow, along with the report of the intelligence bureau.”
The bench, in its order later, said: “Laudably, the farmers have so far carried on the agitation peacefully and without any untoward incident. But it was pointed out in the course of hearing that a few persons who are not farmers have also joined, with a view to show solidarity with the farmers”.
An apprehension was expressed that the possibility of some persons creating trouble cannot be entirely ruled out, the bench said.
“In fact, a specific averment is made in an intervention application filed by one Indian Kisan Union, in…that an organisation by name “Sikhs for Justice”, which is banned for anti-India secessionist movement is financing the agitation. This averment is supported by the learned Attorney General also,” it added.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday put on hold the implementation of the three farming laws and announced the setting up of a committee of experts, purportedly to suggest if any changes were needed in the enactments which are being opposed by the farming community.
The apex court has also granted the committee a time of two months from its sitting to submit a report containing its recommendations. The first sitting is to be held within ten days from today.
However, farmers have expressed apprehension over some of the members chosen in the committee. “It is clear that the court is being misguided by various forces even in its constitution of a committee. These are people who are known for their support to the three acts and have actively advocated for the same,” a statement by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said.
(Inputs from PTI)