‘To uphold law’: Centre defends power cut at farmers’ protest sites | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘To uphold law’: Centre defends power cut at farmers’ protest sites

By | Edited by Karan Manral
Feb 06, 2021 09:14 PM IST

Union power minister RK Singh said that protesters might be ‘stealing’ electricity and, therefore, the police acted to uphold the law.

Union power minister RK Singh on Saturday defended police cutting off electricity at sites in Delhi which are witnessing protests against the three central agricultural laws. Speaking to news agency ANI, Singh wondered if the protesters had taken any legal connection, adding that if not, they were committing electricity theft, due to which, he said, police acted to uphold the law.

Farmers protesting at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, in New Delhi, India.
Farmers protesting at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, in New Delhi, India.

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“Did these protesters take any legal connection? If not, they were stealing electricity and electricity theft is a crime. So, if the police disconnected it, they were acting to uphold the law. People who stole electricity are liable to be prosecuted,” the minister told ANI. “Ask the Congress first if these people had any legal connection, only then they can talk about disconnection,” he further said.

Law enforcement agencies have come under fire for a series of steps that, they say, have been taken to uphold law and order at the protest sites. This includes cutting off electricity, internet ban, disconnecting water supply, erecting barricades laced with barbed wires, fixing iron nails into roads etc. The measures were taken in the aftermath of violence that broke out in Delhi during the ‘Kisan tractor parade’ on Republic Day, when a section of protesters diverted from the route agreed between the farmers’ unions and Delhi Police, entered the city, and clashed with the police.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers’ unions leading the protests, has condemned these measures as ‘human rights violation’ and demanded immediate restoration of the supplies.

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Since November last year, farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting against the three farm laws which were passed in September that year. Delhi’s borders with Haryana (Singhu and Tikri) and Uttar Pradesh (Ghazipur) are the three epicentres of these protests.

On Saturday, farmers held a pan-India ‘chakka jam’ against the legislations. This is also the 73rd day of their agitation.

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