30, including freelance journalist, arrested for violence at Singhu
New Delhi: At least 30 people arrested in connection to the violence at Singhu border in connection to the farmer’s protest on Friday and an independent journalist who was taken in custody on Saturday from the same place for allegedly disrupting a public servant on duty, were sent to judicial custody, their lawyers said.
Duty Magistrate Akhil Malik at the Tihar jail complex sent independent journalist, Mandeep Puniya, to 14 days judicial after he was produced by the police, his counsel Sarim Naved confirmed. He said that the judge also sought the reply of the Investigating officer (IO) in a bail plea moved by Punia.
“Mandeep was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by the Duty Magistrate,” Naved said. He said that Puniya’s bail application would be heard on Monday at the Rohini Court Complex.
Puniya, through his counsel, has contended that he was detained last night without any information to his family members. He said that it was only when the fellow journalists that the information about the FIR were given to them.
The bail plea has said that there was a delay of seven hours in the registration of the FIR and the case was registered at 1.21 AM even when the incident took place at 6.44 PM. The petition said a differential treatment was given to Puniya because he was not carrying a press ID card.
Advocate Harpreet Singh Hora, counsel for the farmers arrested during the violence at the Singhu border on Friday, said that a total of 33 accused persons have been produced before the duty magistrate at the Tihar jail complex on Saturday after which they were sent to judicial custody.
Advocate Hora also said that their team shall contest these cases on behalf of the farmers who are missing, arrested falsely or are injured. He also stated that there are relatives approaching them to figure out the whereabouts of their missing kin.
“Our main priority at this stage is to locate all the missing persons who have been either detained or arrested. We are tracing them at various police stations and see that they are not assaulted by the police. Some reports of assault by police have also been received and we are taking proper legal recourse in these cases,” he said.
Despite multiple barricades and at least 1,000 personnel of Delhi Police and paramilitary forces at the Singhu border, a mob of 200 people managed to reach near the main stage of the protest on Friday and attacked the farmers with sticks, besides pelting them with stones, leading to clashes.
Videos on social media — none of which could be verified independently —showed a group of men pelting stones while police personnel stood next to them and watched. One video showed a masked man throwing stones. Another showed some police personnel in anti-riot gear standing and watching during the stone-pelting.
Delhi police had on Friday night released a statement saying they had arrested 44 persons for Friday’s violence, including a 22-year-old protesting farmer, who had allegedly stabbed a police inspector with a sword on his left palm. Police in their statement did not specify how many of the 44 people were farmers or locals.