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Government has Invokes Sedition charges Against Protesting Farmers

SKM leader Darshan Pal said by invoking sedition charges, the government is provoking the farmers

Haryana police have invoked sedition charges against a group of protesting farmers who allegedly attacked and damaged the official vehicle of Haryana Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwain Sirsa on July 11, during a demonstration against the Centre’s farm laws and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

Sirsa’s Senior Superintendent of Police Arpit Jain confirmed to The Hindu that sedition charges under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code had been invoked against the accused and an investigation was underway.

“So far, no arrests have been made in the case,” he said on Wednesday.

The Sirsa police have registered the FIR under Section 124A (sedition), 307 (attempt to murder), and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), in which two farmer leaders — Harcharan Singh and Prahlad Singh — have been booked. Apart from them, over 100 unidentified people have been booked.

On July 11, the official car of the Deputy Speaker was attacked in Sirsa by a group of protesters shouting slogans and waving black flags. During the demonstration, protesters allegedly smashed the windscreen of vehicles by pelting stones. Mr. Gangwa, however, escaped unhurt.

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‘Govt. provoking farmers’

Reacting to the FIR, senior Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Darshan Pal said the government was trying to provoke farmers by taking such steps. “By invoking sedition charges, the government is provoking the farmers. How can sedition and murder charges be justified if a windscreen of a vehicle was broken?”

“We have already announced that all legislators, including those from the BJP, the Jannayak Janta Party, and the Independents who support the laws, will be peacefully boycotted and will not be allowed entry into villages across the State. We will take a call on the issue at a meeting today [July 14],” he added.

The SKM is the umbrella organization of farmer unions that is spearheading the ongoing protest.

In an official statement, the SKM said the sedition and other charges have been invoked on the instructions of the State BJP government, which was condemnable. The government is using terrorizing tactics against farmers, merely because the farmers had shown black flags to BJP leaders at Sirsa, it said.

Support for Protesting Farmers on Twitter

Since the beginning of the Farmer Protests, Indian Twitterati did not shy away from showing their support for the movement. Nothing has changed even though nearly a year has passed since the start of the farmer movement. While Haryana Police invoked Sedition against farmers, Indian Twitter users were quick to slam the government and call them out for this outrageous move.

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