NHRC seeks reports from Centre, 4 states over farmers' stir, says industries and people are suffering
- Since November last year, farmers from Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan have been protesting against the three central laws that opened the agriculture sector to the private players of the country.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan governments over complaints that the ongoing farmers’ protests have severely affected industries and adversely impacted commuters. "There are allegations of adverse impact on the industrial units, seriously affecting more than 9000 micro, medium and large companies. Allegedly transportation is also adversely impacted, causing the commuters, patients, physically challenged people and senior citizens to suffer due to the heavy congestion on roads," the NHRC stated in the notice. It also took note of reports that people have to travel long distances to reach their destination due to the ongoing farmers' agitation and barricades that have been put on the borders.
"Since the agitation involves the issue of human rights, the right to agitate in a peaceful manner is also to be respected. The commission needs to take care of various human rights issues," it stated in the letter as it also asked for action taken reports from chief secretaries of the respective state governments, director generals of police and commissioner of police.
Since November last year, farmers from Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan have been protesting against the three central laws that opened the agriculture sector to the private players of the country. Agitating farmers say the laws, introduced in September 2020, would erode a longstanding mechanism that ensures farmers a minimum guaranteed price for their produce but the government says this will help growers get better prices.
Over the months, the Union government has had several rounds of discussions but they have failed to bring any resolution to the impasse, as farmers remain firm on their demands of complete repeal of laws.
The NHRC has also asked the Institute of Economic Growth to examine the adverse impact of the farmers' agitation on industrial and commercial activities, production and disruption of transport services on commercial and normal consumers including inconvenience and additional expenditure etc. The institute has given a deadline of October 10 to send the report.
It has also directed the Delhi School of Social Work of Delhi University to conduct a survey and assess the disruption of livelihood, lives of people impacted due to the agitation.