Tractor rally violence: Delhi HC dismisses petition seeking release of those ‘illegally detained’
The Delhi Police have denied reports of illegal detention.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation seeking the release of people “illegally detained” by the police in connection with the violence during the farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally, ANI reported. The Delhi Police have denied reports of illegal detention.
The court said that the arrested people cannot be released without going into the merits of investigation and the first information reports filed against them, according to The Indian Express. It directed the police to complete its investigation in the case in a time-bound manner.
The PIL was filed by a law student. He alleged that as many as 200 people, including farmers, had been missing since January 26 and 27, according to Live Law. The student added that a habeas corpus petition could be filed by anyone on behalf of an illegally detained person.
The petitioner claimed that the Delhi Police had told media that they had detained over 200 people in connection with the violence. He alleged that the police did not followed procedures like signing the arrest memo and producing the accused before a magistrate. This amounts to illegal detention of the protestors, he submitted.
However, the Delhi Police on Monday said that it had so far arrested 122 people. Their names were published on the police website.
Also read: Farm laws: At Delhi’s borders, police use concrete barriers, razor wires to isolate farmers
Delhi Police Public Relations Officer Eish Singhal urged people not to believe rumours about illegal detentions or missing protestors. “The Delhi Police’s investigation in the case is transparent,” he said. “Information about the arrests is also available with the concerned police stations and control rooms.”
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a coalition of farmers’ groups, had also alleged that over 100 people were missing after the violence. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that a helpline would be set up to locate them.
The farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day turned chaotic after a section of protestors deviated from the pre-decided routes. One protestor was killed in the clashes.
Prominent farmer unions and leaders distanced themselves from the violence, and blamed it on certain “anti social elements”. However, several farmer leaders were named in FIRs in connection with the violence.
The situation at Delhi’s border points, where farmers demanding the repeal of the agricultural laws have been camping for over two months, has been tense after the violence. The Centre has extended the ban on internet services near the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders till Tuesday night. Concrete barricades and razor wires have also been installed close to these areas.