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Supreme Court petition alleges violation of farmers' rights during protests

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New Delhi: A petition has been lodged in the Supreme Court, contending that the rights of "peacefully protesting" farmers have been violated by the Central government and four states.

The plea asserts that the Centre and certain states have issued "threats" and bolstered security at the national capital's borders in response to protests by farmer unions, who are demanding a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops and the implementation of the Swaminathan committee's recommendations.

Filed by Agnostos Theos, Managing Director of the Sikh Chamber of Commerce, the petition seeks a writ of mandamus in the interest of farmers facing unfair treatment in their peaceful protests. The plea alleges that some protesters were forcibly arrested or detained by various state governments, and the Centre has disproportionately invoked prohibitory measures, including blocking social media accounts, rerouting traffic, and blocking roads.

The petition claims that the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh have employed "aggressive and violent measures," such as using tear gas, rubber bullets, and pellets against farmers, resulting in serious injuries.

Due to a lack of medical aid, the injuries were exacerbated, causing deaths.

The plea adds that fortifications at Delhi's borders have created a "hostile and violent situation," preventing farmers from exercising their democratic right to protest.

"The peaceful farmers have been subject to conditions similar to terrorists by their own government, simply for the exercise of their democratic and constitutional rights," the petition states.

The petitioner seeks a directive against the Centre, the four states, and the National Human Rights Commission to "consider the reasonable demands of the farmers from across India, who are in continuous peaceful protest, demonstration, and agitation." It also requests directions to ensure "fair and respectful treatment of the protesting farmers," along with allowing free movement.

The petition further seeks a report on alleged human rights violations by the police, as well as adequate compensation for the victim farmers and their families.

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