Farmers’ Protest – Punjab and Haryana High Court Raps Protesting Farmers Over Children Being Paraded In Front

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High Court Raps Protesting Farmers Over 'Children Being Paraded In Front'

The farmers have been agitating to press their various demands on the central government.

Chandigarh:

Children who should be studying at schools are being exposed to violence, the Punjab and Haryana High Court reprimanded the protesting farmers over the participation of women and children in the agitation. The court, which was shown a series of photographs of the protest by the Haryana government, slammed the fact that “children were paraded in the front”.

“Counsel for the State of Haryana has handed over photographs of the gathering on the various dates i.e. 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st of February, 2024 which rather go on to show that apart from the younger elements which were armed with lathis and at certain places with swords and spears and sharp-edged weapons, they were also accompanied by women and unfortunately even children were paraded in the front,” it said.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji was hearing a bunch of petitions on the farmers’ agitation.

The High Court rued the “sad state of affairs” and said that “young minds being exposed to violent acts would lead to a damaging effect on the psychology of such children”.

“Apart from that the threat of being injured on account of stone pelting which was taking place in the apparent riot-like situation,” it added.

The High Court also ordered a judicial probe into the death of farmer Shubhkaran Singh, who died last month during clashes between farmers and police at the Haryana-Punjab border.

The protesting farmers have been staying at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana after their “Delhi Chalo” march was stopped by the security forces.

The “Delhi Chalo” march – spearheaded by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha – began on February 13 but stopped by the security forces, which led to clashes at the border points.

The farmers have been agitating to press their various demands on the central government. They include a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, pension for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, and no hike in electricity tariffs.

The farmers have also called for a four-hour countrywide ‘rail roko’ on March 10.

The farmer leaders have held four rounds of talks with the Centre so far. During the last round of talks, which ended past midnight on February 18, the panel of three Union ministers made an offer to buy five crops — moong dal, urad dal, tur dal, maize, and cotton — from farmers at MSP for five years through central agencies. However, the protesting farmers turned down the demand and returned to their protest sites.

The farmer leaders said the proposal was not in their favour.

The farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence in Uttar Pradesh, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during the 2020-21 agitation against three farm laws that have since been repealed.

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