UP: Sambhal Admin Withdraws Rs 50,000 Notice Sent to BKU Leaders
The farm leaders were told to provide personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each.
The administration of Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district reportedly withdrew the notices served to 20 farmer leaders, who were told to provide personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each after the state police apprehended a breach of peace during protests against the central government’s agriculture laws, PTI reported.
Earlier, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Sambhal had sent notices to six farm leaders to send Rs 50 lakh each in a bid to prevent them from “inciting” farmers to join the protests. However, on Thursday, 17 December, the police claimed the amount was “a clerical error” and would be marked down.
The notice, sent by Sub-Divisional Magistrate Deependra Yadav, had read, “We've got a report from the Hayatnagar police station that some persons are inciting farmers and there can be breach of peace, and they should be asked to fill personal bonds of ₹50 lakh each.”
Most of the leaders, who received the notice, were members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Asli) and claimed that such notices were means to “throttle democratic protest”, The Indian Express reported.
Arun Kumar Singh from Circle Officer, Sambhal, had later revised the mistake and said, “The SDM is currently on leave and once he comes back we will look to issue a bond of Rs 50,000 since the earlier one was a clerical error.”
Responding to the notice sent to him, BKU (Asli) district president Rajpal Singh Yadav said, “They decided on a random number as long as it could deter us from protesting. It’s a non-violent protest. Why is the administration so afraid of farmers protesting? They have mentioned Rs 50 lakh as if we are terrorists. They know that we do not have that kind of money.”
Sambhal has been seeing farmer protests since 26 November, when nearly 400 people had gathered at a chowk. Since then, The Indian Express reported, the police have made several attempts to ensure that the protests do not take place.
According to the leaders, some farmers were also taken into day-long preventive custody prior to a protest.
Rajveer Singh of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh, who also received the administration’s notice, said “Protests are taking place in the entire country but nowhere will you hear that the administration is threatening them with Rs 50 lakh. This is sheer harassment.”
The notices were issued under Section 111 (magistrate order against any person who is likely to commit breach of peace) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) on the basis of a police report.
(inputs from PTI, The Indian Express and NDTV)
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