Farmers protest: Navdeep Singh, hailed as ‘hero’ for turning off water cannon, charged with ‘attempt to murder’
The video of a young Ambala farmer jumping on the water cannon from his tractor trolley and turning it off during farmers’ agitation in on National Highway 44 had gone viral on social media. The incident took place on November 25 as farmers were marching towards the Capital braving water cannon, tear gas in their protest against the three farm laws passed by Parliament recently.
While the treatment meted out to the farmers on their way to Delhi drew severe criticism on social media, including from politicians like Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Amarinder Singh, the act of the young farmer of jumping from his tractor to the police vehicle with water cannon fitted on it won hearts.
Ambala’s 26-year-old Navdeep was hailed as a ‘hero’ on social media as the video went viral amid intensifying protest. Meanwhile, Navdeep has been booked for attempt to murder along with Bharatiya Kisan Union president Gurnam Singh Chaduni. The police have accused them of breaking police barricade and attempting to run over policemen with a speeding tractor trolley. Charges of violating Covid-19 norms have also been brought against Navdeep in a case registered at Parao police station.
On a complaint from head constable Pardeep Kumar, charges under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing any public servant in discharge of public functions) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) have been brought against the protesters.
The FIR said Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Kumar, who was leading the police team at the spot, asked BKU chief Chaduni not to proceed further but he refused. Some of the police officials had a narrow escape and could have been run over by the tractors heading towards Delhi, the FIR mentioned.
Navdeep’s brave act which has been caught on camera didn’t escape the notice of the policement deployed there to stop the protesters from proceeding. After he turned the tap off, he was chased by a policeman who struck him with a cane but Navdeep jumped back to the tractor which was brought near the police vehicle by his brother.
Navdeep has joined farming with his father after completing graduation from Kurukshetra University in 2015 and has said that he believes in the cause of the protest and that the farmers have rights to organise peaceful protests. Navdeep’s father Jai Singh Jalbera is a local farmer activist.
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