Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Raghav Chadha on Friday came out in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest, saying that the right to peaceful protest is the hallmark of a free and democratic society.
“The right to peacefully protest is enshrined in Indian constituion, which gives a right to protest to every individual. Above all, the right to peacefully protest is the hallmark of a free and democratic society,” Chadha told.
“The farmer of this country is neither a criminal and nor a terrorist. The farmer of this country is the backbone of its economy and its food security,” he added.
Chadha further urged the Centre to understand why farmers are opposing the three farms laws.
“And if the government is unable to have a dialogue with farmers, to have chat with the farmers, to explain their position to the farmers and understand why farmers are opposing the three farms laws, then it merely shows the incapacity, sheer apathy, and ignorance on the part of the Indian government,” he added.
This comes as Delhi government rejected the request made by Delhi Police seeking to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons, in view of the ‘Dilli Chalo’ farmers protest.
“The demand of the farmers is legitimate. The Centre must accept the demand made by the farmers. To put them behind the jail is not the solution. Every citizen in the country has the right to protest in a non-violent way…That is why we reject the demand made by Delhi Police to convert the stadiums into make-shift jails,” the Delhi government said in a statement.
On Thursday, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had come out in support of Punjab farmers and their protest against the Centre’s recently passed farm laws, saying that peaceful protest was a constitutional right and the use of water cannons against them was a crime.
Farmers groups, including women, continued their march towards Delhi while protesting and raising slogans on the border areas of Delhi. Farmers are headed toward the national capital as part of their protest march against the Centre’s farm laws amid heavy security deployment.
While the government said the three laws will do away with middlemen, enabling farmers to sell their produce in the commercial markets, protestors fear that this could lead to the government not buying produce at guaranteed prices, thereby disrupting their timely payments.