As the farmer protests gain more traction in the State, farmers have extended their support to the political prisoners who have been illegally detained or arrested.
Farmers have been holding posters and banners with the names and pictures of all the political prisoners at various protest areas.
“We have come to this honest demand to the government, that all the intellectuals who have been accused in the false cases, doesn’t matter if they are farmers or revolutionaries, they have been wrongly involved and sent to jail. So, those cases should be withdrawn and they should be freed,”- Sukhdarshan Natt of Punjab Kisan Union to the FirstPost.
This demand comes on the occasion of Human Rights Day. The day is celebrated on the 10th of December every year to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly.
The theme for Human Rights day 2020 is ‘Recover Better- Stand up for Human Rights.’ The theme is in relation to the various systemic power structures and inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The goals are to end discrimination of any kind, address inequalities, encourage participation and solidarity, and promote sustainable development.
UAPA, NIA, and curbing of dissent
The various protests in the country have given rise to many activists and protesters being put into jail or illegal detention with very ambiguous claims. This has led to the Modi government receiving harsh criticism for curbing freedom of speech and expression, and many allegations claiming the rise of a dictatorship.
The Central government has been amending many Acts such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the National Investigation Amendment Agency (NIA) in order to grant authorities the free reign to silence any criticism, and crackdown on intellectual circles.
The new Farm Laws also contributes to the clampdown of civil rights, where Sections 13 and 15 mention that there can be no legal prosecution against civil servants who have been acting in ‘good faith’, nor will there be any legal recourse for any citizen who may wish to approach the courts for the same.
The farmer protests against the Farm Bills have taken over the State and has been in the highlights since the Bharath Bandh on 8th December. The government has been attempting various negotiations, but the farmers are fixed on their goal for the complete withdrawal of the Farm Bills. The farmers have been using their platform to voice concerns on various other issues along with their own.