The Association of Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab condemned the ongoing arrests of around 2000 farmers and leaders of farmer organisations in Punjab.
In a press conference organised by AFDR in Kisan Bhawan, Sector 35 Chandigarh said that the way Punjab police has implicated the farmers and their leaders under the Sections of IPC like 302 is undemocratic and barbaric act. General secretary Prof. Jagmohan Singh, State president Prof. Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Press secretary Buta Singh, Organizing secretary Narbhinder, finance secretary Tarsem Lal and Publication secretary Pritpal were present at the conference.
The AFDR said that due to ruthless economic policies of the state and central government, the farmers are in deep crisis in the state. So to lodge protest and struggle for their demands is the democratic right of the farmers.
The AFDR said that instead of indulging into ruthless repression the government should have adopted democratic means and should have engaged the farmers and their organizations in negotiations.
Significantly, the Punjab police raided 319 separate locations on the morning of March 6 and arrested 155 farmer leaders. Following that total 1353 people were arrested and they were sent to various jails in the state. The situation has led resistance and restlessness among various sections of the society.
Crossing all limits of democratic set up, the police even arrested those people who had gone to meet the jailed leaders and activists. The flag marches were organied in Mansa district. In Amritsar district besides, Amritsar police, around 1400 Indian reserve police force has been called to supress the farmers.
Even those who have been arrested have been shifted to jails which are faraway from their home towns. The AFDR understands that it is being done to demoralize the protesting farmers.
The Association also feels that instead of going for an independent probe in the death of ASI in Taran Taran, the police have acted with a bad intention of settling the score and they have booked 13 farmer union activists under Section 302 of IPC for charges of murder. It has been done despite the fact that the postmortem report of the ASI says that he died due to cardiac arrest and there were no signs of any injury on his body.
The Association once again demands from the state government to start political dialogue with farmers instead of slaughtering the democratic rights by organizing flag marches and mass arrests.
According to the facts collected by the AFDR following number of people were arrested from various places and have been sent to jail:
Gurdaspur 240, Mansa 250, Nabha 143, Patiala 8, Fardikot 600 , Sangrur 237, Jalandhar 36, Taran Taran 10, Moga 100, Ferozpur 83, Fazilka 80, Nawan Shahr 16, Barnala 12, Ludhiana 8, women at Faridkot jail 70.
Issued by AFDR, March 13, 2013