Farmers clear Bathinda-Zirakpur highway, protest march towards CM’s residence today
The farmers are demanding the release of farmer-activist Manjit Singh Dhaner, who was convicted on charges of murder sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme CourtUpdated: Sep 21, 2019 23:45 IST
Protesting farmers cleared the Bathinda-Zirakpur national highway on Saturday, but they continued their protest for the second consecutive day at the grain market in Mehmadpur village, 8 km from the district headquarters.
The farmer leaders held a meeting on Saturday to discuss their next move and decided to hold a protest march towards New Moti Bagh palace, a Patiala-based residence of chief minister(CM) Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday.
The farmers are demanding the release of farmer-activist Manjit Singh Dhaner, who was convicted on charges of murder sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court .
On September 3, the apex court upheld his life sentence, following which farmers’ organisations decided to protest against the verdict.
In the wake of the protest march towards the CM’s residence, the district police have started making elaborate security arrangements to restrict the movement of farmers. The district administration had imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which prohibits an assembly of more than four people in an area until further orders.
Sangarsh Committee convenor, Buta Singh Burjgill, said that the farmers are not going to budge as they are raising genuine demands before the state government.
“We will hold the protest march at any cost and not going to fear the police arrangements which are attempting to thwart our protest,” Burjgill said.
Bhatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh said they are also consulting senior lawyers to fight the legal battle for pardoning Dhaner’s life imprisonment.
“We also want the Punjab government to take up the matter with state governor for pardoning of the life sentence under Article 161 of Indian constitution,” he said.
The farmers said, “ Dhaner, was a key farmer leader who ensured that Kiranjit Kaur, a student who was kidnapped and raped before being murdered in 1997 got justice.”
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu said that tight security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order at the protest site.
“We have cordoned off the entry and exit points to restrict movement of farmers,” the SSP said.
First Published: Sep 21, 2019 23:45 IST