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Plea in SC seeks early hearing of case to remove protesting farmers from Delhi borders

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Plea in SC for early hearing of case to remove protesting farmers from Delhi borders

In the wake of killing a man at the Singhu border in Haryana’s Sonipat on Friday, an application has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing of a plea to remove all protestors from borders of Delhi, where farmers are agitating against the three farm laws. Members of a Sikh group allegedly killed a 32-year-old farm labourer, hacked off his left arm, and tied his body to a metal barricade near the Singhu farm protest site at the Singhu border on Friday.

The apex court is seized of the case filed by Swati Goel and Sanjeev Newar to remove protesters from the borders and direct all states to not allow any protest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application filed through advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha sought an early hearing of the case saying despite multiple attempts, the matter has not been heard till now.

“Any delay will result in gross injustice and the purpose of this application will become infructuous,” it said.

The application added, “Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression cannot supersede Right to life and if this protest is allowed to go on like this, the nation at large will be at loss.”

“The protest has seen many unforeseen and unacceptable things including the tractor rally on Republic Day, rape of a woman and its cover-up at the site and murder of Lakhbir Singh on Dussehra,” the application further stated.

“The protestors are not only putting their life at risk but of millions of people of India and such a prolonged agitation cannot be allowed especially during the ongoing pandemic since these prolonged protests on public places is not only a clear violation of the Supreme Court rulings but are violating Right to Life of others who are directly or indirectly affected by the said protests,” it added.

The application said incidents like the one on Dussehra where a dead body of a Dalit man Lakhbir Singh was found hung on the police barricades in a mutilated condition are “neither common nor acceptable”.

A protest which in itself is illegal cannot be continued when it is witnessing anti-humanitarian acts, advocate Srivastava said.

The main petition had sought direction from the governments to remove the protestors from the sites and to issue guidelines to each and every State and Union Territory to stop all kinds of protests in their States and not permit them until the pandemic gets over.

The application said that the main matter was pending for hearing since March 2021.

It said the petition was initially taken up by the apex court for hearing on May 10, however, due to a crash in the server of the court, the matter was adjourned to be taken on May 13 but it was again adjourned as the court couldn’t assemble on this date.

Then the petition was listed on May 31 but was adjourned to July 12 without any hearing in the matter however the matter was not at all listed on that date.

(With ANI inputs)

Also Read | Lakhimpur Kheri violence: ‘Rail roko’ protest by farmers on October 18

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