The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notices to the governments of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and the Centre amid allegations that the farmers protests have had an adverse impact on industrial units.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s border points since November, seeking the withdrawal of the farm laws passed in September 2020. Ten months later, protests against the laws continue to be staged in many parts of the country.

The panel on Monday noted the allegations that the protests have seriously hurt over 9,000 micro, medium, and large companies.

The commission added that transport has also been adversely affected, causing hardships to commuters, patients, persons with disabilities and senior citizens.

The NHRC directed the National Disaster Management Authority and the Union home affairs and health ministries to submit reports “with respect to the adverse impact of farmers agitation on various aspects and observance of Covid Protocols at the protest sites”.

The human rights body has asked the Institute of Economic Growth in Delhi to assess the impact of the protest on industrial and commercial activities as well as on transport. The institute has been asked to submit a comprehensive report by October 10.

The commission has also asked the Delhi School of Social Work to depute a team to carry out a survey on the disruption of livelihoods and “impact on the aged and infirm persons” due to the protests against the farm laws.

The panel has also asked the Jhajjar district magistrate to file a report on the payment of compensation to the relatives of a human rights activist, who was allegedly gangraped at a protest site.

The activist from West Bengal had gone to the Tikri border between Delhi and Haryana to participate in the protests. The woman died at a hospital in Jhajjar on April 30 after showing coronavirus-like symptoms, according to ANI.

Farmers’ protests

The government has claimed the new laws are aimed at making farming more profitable, but the farmers argue that the legislations would bring about corporate dominance of the sector.

Last week, farmers also held protests condemning a baton-charge by the Haryana Police during a demonstration in Karnal on August 28 in which ten farmers were injured.

The farmers in Haryana called off their protest on September 11 after the state government assured them of a probe into the incident.

Both the farmers and the state government agreed on a month-long probe by a former judge into the baton-charge incident as well as the role of former Karnal Sub-divisional Magistrate Ayush Sinha.

Sinha had ordered the police officers to “smash the heads” of the protestors if they crossed certain police barricades.