Vital to respect peaceable protests, non-violence: UN chief’s spokesman on farmers’ stir


United Nations, January 27

In the wake of violence and clashes between farmers and police in India, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said it is important to respect peaceful protests, freedom of assembly and non-violence.

Tuesday’s tractor parade in New Delhi, which was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws, dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the city as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

Delhi Police have registered 22 FIRs so far in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor parade, leaving over 300 policemen injured. One person died in the incident.

Secretary-General Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric, in his response to a question on the violence in New Delhi during his daily press briefing on Tuesday, said: “As we say in many of these cases, I think it’s important to respect peaceful protests, freedom of assembly and non-violence.”

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 41 farmer unions, is leading the protest against the three central farm laws at several border points of Delhi.

The Morcha has disassociated itself from those who indulged in violence during the tractor parade and alleged that some “anti-social elements” infiltrated their otherwise peaceful movement.

It has called a meeting later on Wednesday to discuss the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital.

Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points, including Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, since November 28, demanding a complete repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops. PTI



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