Sanyukt Kisan Morcha forms panel to provide legal aid to protesting farmers

New Delhi: The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said on Tuesday that it has formed a panel to provide legal aid to the protesting farmers who have been arrested or are missing since Republic Day. The umbrella body of the farmer unions protesting against the three central farm laws also met and sought the assistance of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who expressed his support to the agitation and promised immediate help.

“We have formed a committee of five members to look into the issue. We have released numbers and appeal to all the people to provide information if their friend or family member is missing after the January 26 incident,” Rajinder Singh, vice president, Kirti Kisan Union, told ET. “We have decided to extend legal and all kinds of help to these people and their families. It is the responsibility of the SKM to fight for our farmer friends.”

A number of lawyers reached out to the SKM to provide legal help to the arrested farmers for free.

The protest continued at all the three border points amid heavy barricading by the Delhi Police. At the Ghazipur border, the protesting farmers faced problems as food from the nearest gurdwara could not reach due to traffic restrictions. However, the supply lines were once again established on Tuesday.

During the day, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut reached the Ghazipur border to extend his party’s support to the farmers’ protest. “I thank Raut ji and all other political parties who have extended their support to the movement. As I have maintained, it’s an apolitical movement and no political party is behind it,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan also visited the Ghazipur border to meet Tikait. BKU (Ugrahan) has a strong presence in the protest at Tikri border. “There are restrictions but the movement will continue and we will intensify the movement in days to come,” Ugrahan told the crowd from the stage at Ghazipur.

The protesting unions are planning to convene a meeting of all farmer leaders in the coming days and this time the meeting might take place at Ghazipur border.

Farmers leaders said a detailed programme regarding the road blockage protest planned for February 6 would be announced after their meeting.

Meanwhile, a deputation of the legal committee constituted by the SKM met the Delhi CM and home minister Satyendra Jain and raised the issue of persons lodged in Tihar Jail, along with 29 missing persons, who they said had been falsely implicated in the violence during the tractor march that the protestors had carried out on Republic Day.

They demanded a judicial inquiry in order to “unravel the conspiracy hatched by the central government and Delhi Police”. They also demanded that a medical board be constituted for examining the serious injuries suffered by farmers at the hands of the police.

On Republic Day, the tractor march was marred by violence at several places inside the national capital and a group of protestors even breached the Red Fort and hoisted the Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag). The SKM said it had nothing to do with the ruckus at the Red Fort and demanded stringent action against the culprits.

The delegation that met Kejriwal demanded that the missing persons be immediately traced and released. It said the jail authorities should be directed to provide all facilities to the persons lodged in jail and that the police should release the tractors that were “illegally impounded” during the tractor march.

The CM assured the delegation that he will raise the matter with the Centre. Delhi Police comes under the Centre.