NHRC notice to Centre, 4 states over farmers’ protests
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Centre and governments of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, saying it has received complaints that the ongoing farmers’ protests have “adversely impacted” micro, medium and large industrial units and that Covid-19 safety norms have been breached at the agitation sites.
In a statement, the NHRC said there are allegations that at least 9,000 micro, medium and large companies have been impacted due to farmers’ protests.
“There are also reports that people have to travel long distances to reach their destinations due to the ongoing farmers’ agitation and barricades have been put up at the borders,” it said in the statement.
Accordingly, the commission on Monday issued notices to the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and the government of NCT of Delhi; and director generals of police of the three states and Delhi police commissioner, asking them to submit reports on action taken by them.
The commission also requested the Institute of Economic Growth to examine the impact of the farmers’ agitation on industrial and commercial activities and submit a comprehensive report by October 10.
“The National Disaster Management Authority, ministry of home affairs and ministry of health, Government of India, have been asked to submit reports concerning the adverse impact of farmers’ agitation on various aspects and observance of Covid protocols at the protest sites,” the NHRC said.
It also asked the Delhi School of Social Work, University of Delhi, to depute teams to conduct a survey and submit a report, assessing the disruption of livelihood, lives of people, impact on the aged and infirm persons due to protracted agitation by farmers, the rights panel said.
The farmers from all across the country, mainly from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting since November against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act passed by Parliament last year. Farmers have been protesting at Singhu Border and Tikri Border of Delhi-Haryana, Ghazipur border of Delhi-Uttar Pradesh, and have camped there since November 25 last year, seeking repealing of the three new farm laws.