A letter petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry into alleged Police excesses and illegal detention of protesting farmers near Delhi borders.
In a letter written by 35 students of the Punjab University, it is alleged that the Government of India has indulged in vindictive, atrocious and unconstitutional abuse of power to subvert the constitutional rights of farmers of to protest in peace.
"After more than two months of peaceful protests in their home states, served with incompatible gestures of Government of India when farmers (felt marooned) decided to approach to the National Capital Delhi, the peaceful protestors (farmers) were thrashed and walloped that it seemed raising voice for the Fundamental Rights as provided by the Supreme Law of the Nation is a dreadful crime (which it is not)," states the letter.
It is alleged that the media has polarized the whole peaceful movement by associating it with separatism and the Delhi Police has employed illegitimate use of water cannons, tear gases shells and lathis, and has even proceeded to "jail" some of the farmers, amounting to illegal detention.
It is significant to note at this juncture that the Supreme Court had, while hearing a batch of petitions seeking removal of farmers from Delhi borders, had categorically stated that there can be no impediment in the exercise of right to protest as long as it is non-violent and does not result in damage to the life and properties of other citizens.
In this backdrop, it is submitted that the farmers, just like any other citizen of this democratic nation, are free to express their will and sentiments, however, the Central Government is turning deaf and indifferent in toto to their plight.
The students averred that such actions are not only violative to the fundamental rights of the protestors but are also opposed to India's obligations under the International Laws viz., Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948; ICCPR, which India ratified in 1979 and ICESCR, which was also ratified in 1979.
The students have thus urged the Chief Justice of India to take suo moto cognizance of the matter and direct the governments at both Central and State level to ensure safety of all protesters and look into alleged illegal detention of innocent farmers.
It is prayed that an inquiry be instituted against the Haryana Police, regarding illegitimate use of water cannons, tear gases shells and lathis on peaceful protesting farmers.
Further, the Haryana and Delhi Police be directed to withdraw all the cases against innocent farmers which were allegedly registered under political vendetta.
A direction is also sought against the media for spreading fake news and engaging in misrepresentation, polarisation and denationalisation of the whole issue.
Inter alia, it is urged:
- provide basic amenities for all, especially women, children and elderly.
- Mobile toilet vans should be provided at protest places.
- Issue appropriate guidelines regarding hygienic conditions at protest sites in the backdrop of COVID-19.