Police barricades were knocked down in Haryana’s Sirsa this afternoon as farmers began their demonstration against a sedition case and arrests that followed. Despite a massive deployment of paramilitary troops, the protesters continued to demonstrate.
Five farmers were charged with sedition and arrested in early morning raids on Thursday for allegedly attacking BJP leader and Haryana Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa on July 11.
Sirsa, which is about 250 km from Delhi, has been on high alert since morning as farmer leaders demanded the release of those arrested.
This afternoon, a 20-member committee of farmers met a group of officials to discuss their demands.
On Sunday, the BJP’s Ranbir Gangwa was allegedly attacked and his official vehicle was damaged during a protest against the contentious farm laws.
More than 100 farmers faced sedition charges; five of them were arrested on Thursday. This is believed to be the first time that the farmers – protesting against the controversial laws since late November – have been accused of sedition.
In a statement issued earlier this week, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (one of the protesting groups) slammed the charges, calling them “false, frivolous and cooked up” and vowing to contest them in court.
“SKM strongly condemns false, frivolous and cooked-up sedition charges, and indeed all other charges, against farmers and farmer leaders under instructions of the anti-farmer BJP government of Haryana,” it said.
The arrests come at a time when Supreme Court has questioned the relevance of sedition law, describing it as “colonial”.
“The sedition Law is a colonial law. Do we still need the law in our country after 75 years of Independence,” Chief Justice NV Ramana questioned earlier this week.
News Source: NDTV News