Notice Served to Over 200 Tractor Owners by UP Police, Farmers Allege Conspiracy to Derail Movement
Image Courtesy: Deccan Express
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Police have reportedly served notices to nearly 300 tractor owners in the state on Monday, February 1, in an alleged bid to prevent farmers from joining the ongoing protest against the farm laws at the borders of the national capital.
Even though the police have stated that the notices do not have any relation with the farmers' protest against the anti-farmer legislation, farmer leaders and opposition parties allege that a "conspiracy is being hatched" to derail the farmers' movement. They said that by serving notice to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP government is threatening to prevent them from joining protests at Ghazipur border against the three farm laws.
Reacting to the police’s attempts to suppress the farmers’ struggle, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) vice president Harinam Singh Verma said that the brutality of Yogi Adityanath government has crossed all limits to suppress the farmers. "First, they booked farmers under the Goondas Act for participating in the protests and opposing the farm laws and now they are issuing notices to the farmers who own tractors and use it for going to the protest site," Verma told NewsClick.
According to the police, the notices have been as the farmers used tractors on public roads for commercial work.
As per reports, over 200 tractor owners in Sikandarpur area of Ballia district and around 100 others in different parts of the state, including Varanasi and Mirzapur have been issued notices by the UP police.
"The notice has been served to 220 owners of tractors in the Sikandarpur police station area in Ballia. In the notice, it has been mentioned that the tractors were used on public roads for commercial work, and minors were driving them. As a result of this, there were road accidents. The tractors were also used in illegal mining," Bal Mukund Mishra, SHO, Sikandarpur Police Station was quoted as saying by PTI.
Meanwhile, Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Rajeshwar Yadav reportedly denied any knowledge about the notices served to the tractor owners.
A farmer from Sonbhadra, Rajveer Singh, who is also under the fear that the police will serve notice to him as well said, "In my region, police is asking the registration records of tractors and after getting details of owners of tractors, they will take action against farmers for joining the farmers’ protests at the border or those who participated in the tractor parade on January 26.”
The latest clampdown comes after Uttar Pradesh Police invoked the Goondas Act, 1970, against eight farmer leaders, including a student of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi — the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi—for allegedly participating in ongoing farmers' protest at the Delhi-Noida border against the three farm laws on January 9.
The Act has been invoked against All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) district secretary Ramjee Singh, Communist Party of India (CPI) district secretary Jaishankar Singh, Swaraj India's Ramjanam Yadav, BHU student Shivraj Yadav, Communist Party of India (Marxist) members Bansraj Patel, Nehaluddin, Mohammad Alam and Shivshankar Lal from Varanasi.
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