“You Have Strangulated Entire City”: Supreme Court On Farmer Group’s Plea

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The Supreme Court today lashed out at a farmers’ group protesting the three agricultural laws saying they have “strangulated the entire city (Delhi) and blocked highways”.

The farmers’ body, Kisan Mahapanchayat, had sought permission from the Supreme Court to hold a ‘Satyagrah’ at Jantar Mantar, the designated protest site in the heart of Delhi. The group sought the top court’s direction to the authorities to provide space to at least 200 farmers or protestors at the Jantar Mantar for organising a peaceful and non-violent ‘Satyagrah’.

“You have strangulated the entire city, now you want to come inside the city. The residents around, are they happy with the protest? This business should stop,” a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar said.

The Supreme Court told the group that once they have approached the court against the three farm laws, they should have trust in the judicial system and let the matter be decided. “If you have faith in courts, pursue that for urgent hearing instead of protesting. Are you protesting against the judicial system also?” the court asked.

“You block highways and then say protest is peaceful. Citizens also have their rights to move around. Their properties are being damaged. You are affecting security also. You stopped defence personnel also,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

“We have not blocked highways. The police has detained us there,” the lawyer representing the farmers’ body told the Supreme Court.

The court asked the group to file an affidavit saying they are not a part of the protest that is “blocking the national highways”.

In July, farmers, led by two other groups – Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) – held a massive protest at Jantar Mantar amid the monsoon session of parliament.

Farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders for over a year against the centre’s three agricultural laws. Even after 11 rounds of talks, government and farmers have not yet reached a conclusion on three farm laws, which the protesters say will leave at the mercy of corporates.

Delhi had witnessed violent protests during a farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day as thousands of agitators clashed with the police.

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