Rihai Manch has strongly opposed the Yogi government’s action of sending notices to Farmer Leaders, imposing fines, and demanding bonds.
Chief Rajeev Yadav has said that in many districts of the state farmers have received notices under sections 111 and 149 of CrPC. By doing so, the state wants to create impediments for the farmers and farmer leaders who are planning and preparing for the coming Kisan Parade on Republic Day.
This is inspite of the Supreme Court’s refusal of the Delhi police petition to halt the parade, citing that parade and protests are people’s constitutional right.
Manch Chief also said that some farmers have received notices under section 111 from Deputy District Magistrate office of Sitapur, for intending to ‘disturb public order and tranquility’. The notices demanded ten lakh rupees each and two sureties of the same amount. In Hardoi and Lucknow too, dozens of farmers received notices under section 107/116. Furthermore, six farmers at Sambhal district have also received notices demanding 50 lakh each.
Rajeev Yadav accused the government of using the law and state machinery to destroy and suppress the farmers’ protest. The Yogi govt.’s intention to stop the farmers movement at any cost is clear. Even before this, at Varanasi and other districts, 8 farmers received notices under Goonda Act, while many were kept under illegal detention. Manch also highlighted the severity of the notices by contrasting it with crimes as severe as even murder, which requires a bail of only Rs.50000. This intimidation and abuse of power cannot be understood as anything other than a desperate attempt to stop protests. This is not just contempt of the Supreme Court’s decision, but also a breach of constitutional contract.
Rihai Manch is a political advocacy group based in Uttar Pradesh, consisting of lawyers and human rights activists who provide legal assistance to victims of police deceit and suppression. Besides legal aid, they also try to bring issues of the marginalised into mainstream discourse. They describe themselves as a “resistance against repression.”
This article was originally published in Junputh and has been subsequently translated by Ananya Kumar.