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Farm Laws Cancelled, But Fate of Cases Filed against Thousands of Protesters Unclear

The cases have been filed by the state against farmers and, if the government decides, they can be withdrawn by filing an affidavit in court, a police official said. Representational pic/Reuters

The cases have been filed by the state against farmers and, if the government decides, they can be withdrawn by filing an affidavit in court, a police official said. Representational pic/Reuters

At least 39 cases in Delhi and 136 in Haryana alone were registered against farmers protesting over the laws, according to government statements in the past. These include charges of vandalism, violation of orders, and even UAPA sections.

While the three controversial farm laws have been repealed by the Narendra Modi government, various cases were registered against the protesters by local police in different parts of the country including Delhi in the past months. It is unclear whether the government will take back these cases or police will file closure reports or charge sheets in these matters.

Sources in Delhi police maintained that investigation will go on in these cases. Charges even include anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act sections in some instances.

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“These are criminal cases including vandalism, violation of orders, and some are booked under strict UAPA sections. Investigations in these cases are on,” a senior Delhi police official told News18.

The cases have been filed by the state against farmers and, if the government decides, they can be withdrawn by filing an affidavit in court, a police official explained.

In Delhi, 39 cases were registered against farmers protesting against the agricultural laws, the union home ministry had informed Parliament in February.

“In so far NCT of Delhi is concerned, Delhi Police has informed that 39 cases have been registered against the farmers protesting the recently passed ‘farm laws’ between September to December 2020 at Delhi border. Delhi Police has also informed that one suicide case has been reported to them during the protest against farm laws at the Delhi border,” the home ministry had said.

The ministry had also said that the central government keeps a constant watch on the internal security scenario of the country through its security agencies and responds appropriately to the emergent situation. “Among other measures, alerts and advisories are issued to the law enforcement agencies whenever any threat to internal security is perceived. The central government also provides Central Armed Police Forces to the States/Union Territories upon request,” the ministry said in a reply.

“They aggressively resorted to rioting, damage to government property and used criminal force to deter public servants from the discharge of their duty, thereby inflicting injuries to the on-duty police personnel,” the home ministry informed Parliament.

The Haryana government, meanwhile, informed in the assembly that 136 cases have been filed against farmers protesting over the three laws.

Reports say in some police stations in the state, officers registered cases against protesters and booked close to 10,000 unknown farmers. 26 FIRs were registered in Sonepat district, 15 in Ambala and 14 in Kurukshetra.

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According to a statement by the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, cases have been filed in Haryana against more than 2,500 persons. Cases have been registered in Yamunanagar, Ambala, Karnal, Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Jhajjar, Sonepat, etc.

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first published:November 19, 2021, 13:46 IST