SC calls Sedition Law ‘Colonial’, Haryana Police Arrest Five People Under Sedition

The court implied that the sedition law has often been misused by the state to persecute those who rightfully challenge its authority.

sedition
Image: PTI

Five people were arrested by Sirsa police on Thursday days after lodging an FIR, which included a sedition charge, over an alleged attack on the Haryana deputy speaker’s car during a farmers’ protest.

Farmers carrying black flags had assembled outside Chaudhary Devi Lal University in Sirsa on Sunday during the day and raised slogans against the government. While Gangwa, who is a BJP MLA from Nalwa in Hisar, was coming out of the varsity after attending a function, protesters targeted his car, police had said.

Following the incident which had taken place on Sunday, the police had booked over 100 people, mostly unidentified, for obstructing public servants in discharge of their duty, murderous attempt on an elected representative, damaging public property, and sedition.

Meanwhile, on the very same day, the apex court of India, while hearing a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the sedition law, termed it as a ‘colonial law used against the freedom fighters of India’. The court implied that the sedition law has often been misused by the state to persecute those who rightfully challenge its authority.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy expressed concern over the “enormous misuse” of the colonial era penal law and noted that, ‘the sedition law is a colonial law and was used by the British and to suppress our freedom’ and stated that it would examine the constitutional validity of the sedition law.

Meanwhile, to protest the arrests, a group of farmers sat on a dharna near Baba Bhuman Shah Ji Chowk in Sirsa, demanding that they be released.

Police, however, said the arrests were made after they were identified based on the video footage of the incident. ‘Five protesters have been arrested. We analysed the video footage of the incident in the past two days. The pictures were magnified and later based on the evidence, the five who were identified have been arrested,’ Sirsa Superintendent of Police Dr. Arpit Jain told PTI over the phone.

Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi’s borders for over seven months to mark their protest against the Centre’s three farm laws. Public functions of the BJP and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and the appearances of their leaders in gatherings have been repeatedly opposed by the protesting farmers in the state.

(With inputs from PTI)

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