Three Punjab farmers, who had come here from Singhu border near Delhi to garner support for their protests against the Centre’s three controversial farm laws, were detained by police from the Ridge ground today.
The farmers who hail from Mohali in Punjab and had reached Shimla in the afternoon, were agitated over their detention and they questioned the cops as to why they were being detained as they were not raising any slogans.
“This is the violation of our right to freedom of expression as we are only three persons who were talking about the three farm laws of the Central government.
Is this the democratic system of the country which doesn’t even allow someone to speak or discuss farm laws,” they said as they were whisked away by Shimla police to Sadar Police Station.
Harpreet Singh, a farmer who was part of the group, told media that the protesting farmers were going to all the state capitals in the country to aware farmers and garner support against the three farm laws.
“But Shimla is the only place where they are not allowed to speak and are being dragged and detained,” he added.
Superintendent of Police Shimla Mohit Chawla said Mall Road and the Ridge Ground were core areas where any procession or meeting without the permission of the district administration was prohibited as per the High Court Orders.
The three farmers who were detained by the police had not sought any permission from the administration or the police, he added.
The three farmers, who were carrying banners against farm laws, had been detained by the Shimla police under Section 107 (breach of peace) and 150 (unlawful assembly) of Indian Penal Code.
The farmers were released in the evening by the police after brief questioning, Shimla Additional Superintendent of Police Praveer Thakur told The Statesman.
Meanwhile, Himachal Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, Shimla district (Urban) Congress chief Jitender Chuadhary along with other party leaders reached Sadar Police Station in Shimla and demanded their immediate release.
Jitender Chaudhary said the detention of the farmers in Shimla was the murder of democracy as everyone had the right to freedom of expression.
“Congress party stands with farmers in their protests against the three farm laws and demands immediate repeal of these laws which have been enacted to benefit few businessmen,” he added.