Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, January 19
Three Punjab farmers who had come to Shimla from the Singhu border near Delhi to explain to the locals the motive of their agitation and the ramifications of the central farm laws were detained by the police from the historic Ridge here.
Their detention led to commotion as the farmers, hailing from Mohali, were agitated over the police action and sought to know under which law they had been rounded up.
“We are only three persons and talking about the black farm laws. We didn’t even raise any slogans. This is violation of our right to freedom of expression. Is this democracy? Are we living in a free country?” they shouted while being dragged away by the police.
Shimla SP Mohit Chawla said the Ridge and Mall Road were core areas where any kind of procession or meeting was prohibited as per the High Court orders. The detained farmers had not sought any permission from the administration or the police, he maintained.
“We had inputs about the arrival of some farmers but their credentials could not be verified. They have been detained as a preventive measure,” he added.
The three were taken to Sadar police station.
The farmers holding banners were detained under the Sections 107 and 150 of the Indian Penal Code.
“We are going to all the state capitals to make the farmers aware about the farm Bills, but this is the only place where we are being dragged and not allowed to speak,” said Harpreet Singh, a farmer.
Meanwhile, the Congress leaders termed the action as “illegal” and have gathered outside the Sadar police station where the farmers were detained.