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Farmers Protest: Plea in Punjab and Haryana High Court seeks judicial probe into youth’s death

A petition has been moved by a lawyer in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking judicial enquiry into the death of a 22-year-old youth allegedly by violent means resorted to by the Haryana police and paramilitary during farmers protest at Khanauri border on Wednesday. 

Reportedly, Advocate Harinder Pal Singh has moved an intervention application in the petition challenging obstructive actions of the government to curb the protest in demand of a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The petitioner, who is also a lawyer, sought inquiry by a Retd. High Court Judge assisted by DGP Punjab into the homicide of youth farmer Shubhkarn Singh, a resident of Punjab’s Bathinda. Reportedly, it is alleged that Haryana police and paramilitary resorted to heavy shelling of tear gas and by taking shelter of the smoke opened fire on the protestors, in which Shubhkarn Singh died.

The petition further seeks issuance of directions to the Centre and State to place on record the complete data of the tear gas shells, pellet guns and rubber, real bullets used by the police, paramilitary forces, so as to enable the Court to ascertain whether the force used by the police and paramilitary forces on their own countrymen is reasonable or indiscriminate and inhuman.

The petition stated that the Haryana police and paramilitary forces have unleashed terror on the protestors after entering the jurisdiction of Punjab. The plea added that the silence of the Punjab police and the administration on rampant violation of the jurisdiction issues is also surprising. 

It underlined that till date no official information has come on record that whether the DGP Punjab or chief secretary Punjab have recorded their objections to the protest with their counterpart with regard to use of excess forces on residents of Punjab and within the jurisdiction of Punjab. The matter is scheduled on February 29 for further consideration.

Meanwhile, another PIL has been lodged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking to restrain the protesting farmers from moving ahead to New Delhi. The PIL has been lodged through a lawyer who claimed that the Delhi Chalo march by the Punjab farmers is posing grave danger to the life and liberty of common citizens in general, police personnel on duty and the farmers themselves who are part of the agitation. 

The petition mentioned that the agitators are in possession of modified heavy vehicles which are otherwise not permissible to be plied on roads as per Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.The plea also sought interim directions to restrain any agitation or blockade on National Highway No. 44 and to transfer the agitators stationed at Shambhu and Khanori borders of State of Punjab and Haryana to other designated places meant for agitation.

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