Image courtesy: PTI
The Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG) reiterated their support to the farmers’ struggle against the three farm laws forcibly passed by the government on February 5, 2021, the eve of the nationwide chakka jam call.
Members demanded withdrawal of cases against farmers and tweeters including the journalists, stopping the vicious and sickening propaganda of calling the farmers “Khalistanis,” to create a conducive atmosphere for resumption of talks.
“If the Government of India is indeed interested in an amicable solution, instead of proposing half-hearted steps such as putting the laws on hold for eighteen months, it can withdraw the three laws and think of other possible solutions, given the basic Constitutional position that the subject of agriculture is in the States’ list,” said the CCG members.
CCG said the government’s adversarial and confrontationist approach towards the farmers’ protest from the very beginning by deriding and demonising apolitical farmers like irresponsible opposition. The repeated, albeit unsuccessful, attempts to polarise the agitation along regional, communal lines are also reprehensible because it can never lead to a solution.
They questioned the sedition charges against certain journalists and an Opposition MP for flimsy grounds such as personal tweets.
“The registration of the same case with very similar First Information Reports in various states run by the BJP smacks of vindictiveness and seems to be aimed at muzzling legitimate, democratic protests against the policies of the government,” they said.
The retired officers pointed out that expressing an opinion against the Government of India or reporting different versions of an incident cannot be considered an act against the nation. Accordingly, protesting against a government policy or action is not an act of sedition.
Further, they expressed concerns about the developments following the Kisan Ganatantra Parade wherein farmers were blamed for the disruption of law and order on that day. According to the CCG, the central government still has not responded to the allegation that the Delhi police erected barricades on agreed-upon routes on January 26. Moreover, no one in the Delhi police of Ministry of Home Affairs or Ministry of Defence has been penalized for “dereliction of duty” especially when miscreants hoisted a flag at Red Fort.
They asked, “Why is it that this particular action by a few unruly elements was shown repeatedly by the government controlled and other media? What happened in the remaining places? Why was the peaceful tractor parade in other places, with citizens welcoming the farmers with flowers and food, not shown?”
Accordingly, they criticised the altercation near Singhu border after Republic Day where TV visuals showed an unruly person had even snatched a lathi from a policeman and attacked one of the farmers. They also questioned the suspension of essential services such as water, electricity and the internet at protest sites, putting people gathered there through unspeakable difficulties.
They asked, “Why have barricades with concrete barriers, concertina wire, nails and spikes been raised on the borders of Delhi to prevent the agitating farmers from entering? Such barricades are not even erected on the borders of India with its neighbouring countries! Are the agitating farmers being seen as enemies of the country?”
On February 6, farmers movement will observe a three-hour chakka jam along all national and state highways in the nation between 12 PM to 3 PM.