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After Protestors Hold Posters Demanding Release of Intellectuals, Farmers Insist Stir 'Apolitical'

Farmers listen to a speaker in the middle of an expressway at the site of a protest against new farm laws at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, on December 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Farmers listen to a speaker in the middle of an expressway at the site of a protest against new farm laws at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, on December 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

When asked about supporters of a farmers union at Tikri border demanding release of writers, intellectuals, and rationalists by displaying posters of people like Umar Khalid and Sudha Bharadwaj among others, who had been arrested under several charges, they said, "They were not sure of what went on at Tikri border. The farmers' protest is not a political one." They said that the incident at the Tikri border may be the farmers' way of observing Human Rights Day.

Farmer leaders on Thursday insisted that their ongoing protest against the Centre's new farm laws is "apolitical", after photos of protestors at the Tikri Border went viral in which they were seen holding posters demanding the release of writers, intellectuals and rationalists on the Human Rights Day. Human Rights Day was observed on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference at Singhu border, farmer leaders said that they had refused many political leaders to use their platform. When asked about supporters of a farmers union at Tikri border demanding release of writers, intellectuals, and rationalists by displaying posters of people like Umar Khalid and Sudha Bharadwaj among others, who had been arrested under several charges, they said, "They were not sure of what went on at Tikri border. The farmers' protest is not a political one." They said that the incident at the Tikri border may be the farmers' way of observing Human Rights Day.

Thousands of farmers have been staying put at Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Chilla (Delhi-Noida) — for nearly two weeks against the Centre's new farm laws. In September, former JNU students' leader Khalid was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act(UAPA) for his alleged role in the February northeast Delhi riots.Delhi Police had in November filed a supplementary charge sheet in a court here against Khalid and JNU student Sharjeel Imam in a case related to the alleged larger conspiracy in the communal violence.

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first published:December 10, 2020, 22:58 IST