Farmer bodies to meet chief principal secretary to CM in Chandigarh today
The delegation of farmers, who are protesting against the life sentence awarded to farmer-activist Manjit Singh Dhaner, are all set to meet Suresh Kumar, principal secretary to Punjab chief minister, on Thursday.
The meeting will be held at Kisan Bhawan in Chandigarh. The protesting farmers will decide the next course of action according to the outcome of the meeting.
The farmers are on an indefinite protest at the Mehmadpur village grain market, 8km from the district headquarters, since the past four days, against life sentence to Dhaner in a murder case.
Dhaner was convicted on charges of murder of a man whose relative is one of the accused in a kidnapping, rape and murder case of a student dating back to 1997. Dhaner was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in 2005.
On September 3, the apex court had upheld his life sentence, following which the farmers’ organisations had decided to protest against the verdict.
Sangarsh Committee convener Buta Singh Burjgill said farmers leaders have already drawn strategies to be followed post-meeting with representatives of the state government.
“We will make the announcement once the meeting is over. Moreover, we have asked the farmers unions across state to gather at Mehmadpur grain market on Thursday,” Burjgill said.
He added that the farmers are not going to relent till the Punjab government takes up the matter with governor VP Singh Badnore for pardoning of the life sentence under Article 161 of the Indian Constitution.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) general secretary, Jagmohan Singh, said that they are also consulting senior lawyers to fight the legal battle for repealing Dhaner’s life term.
“We are going to file a review petition and will consider available legal measures. The government should understand that we have not come here to protest and go, as we will intensify our protest and will fight till the matter is taken to logical conclusion,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the farmers’ call, tight security arrangements were made by the district police and several check posts have been setup across Patiala.
The district administration has even imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which prohibits an assembly of more than four people in an area, until further notice.