‘Farmers are not criminals or terrorists’: AAP on Delhi Police’s request to set temporary jails
After Delhi Police on Friday sought Delhi government’s permission to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons in view of the ongoing farmers’ protest, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, whose party is in power in the city, urged the government to deny its nod.
“I urge the Delhi Govt to deny permission for setting up temporary prisons. The farmer of our country is neither a criminal nor a terrorist. Right to protest peacefully is enshrined in Indian Constitution - Article 19(1) and protests are the hallmark of a free, democratic society,” party MLA Raghav Chadha tweeted.
“I think it’s a most inhuman thing we can do to our farmers. Delhi Police should stop calling themselves- दिल वाली पुलिस.” tweeted Saurabh Bharadwaj.
On Thursday, Delhi chief minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had also backed the farmers, tweeting, “All three agricultural laws are anti-farmers. Instead of allowing farmers to protest peacefully, water cannons are being used against them and the laws are also not being withdrawn. This is absolutely wrong. Protesting peacefully is their constitutional right.”
On Friday, the police’s request for permission came after a violent faceoff with the protesting farmers, who are adamant on reaching the national capital to stage protest against the three contentious agricultural laws by the Centre in September. In a repeat of scenes from Thursday, the farmers, most of whom are from Punjab, faced tear gas shells and water cannons from the police. Farmers, however, say they have enough ration and other essential items for the next 1-2 months and would stage a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) wherever stopped from by the police.
Haryana Police’s crackdown on farmers on Thursday had sparked a war of words between the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and its Congress counterpart in Punjab. While the BJP-led central government has passed the legislations, the Congress has been against the laws since the beginning.
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