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Farm unions’ ‘chakka jam’: UN urges 'maximum restraint'

An aerial view of farmers' protest site at Ghazipur border, ahead of farmers' proposed 'Chakka Jam' against the Centre's three agri laws, in New Delhi, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The United Nations human rights office called on Indian authorities and protesting farmers to exercise "maximum restraint" hours before the growers impose a nationwide road blockade on Saturday seeking a repeal of new agricultural laws.

Also read: Ground Zero | Farmers, the state, and a rising tide

The farmers will hold a three-hour "chakka jam", or road blockade, starting around noon local time across the country except in New Delhi and a couple of neighbouring states.

 

Tens of thousands of farmers have camped out on theoutskirts of New Delhi for more than two months, blocking keyroads and demonstrating against the laws.

The protests have mostly been peaceful but a tractor rally organised on Jan. 26 flared into turmoil as farmers clashed with police in New Delhi.

Since then, authorities have shut down the mobile internet in parts of the national capital and heavily barricaded border roads to prevent them from coming into the city again.

 

"The rights to peaceful assembly & expression should be protected both offline & online," the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Twitter lateon Friday.

"It's crucial to find equitable solutions with due respectto #HumanRights for all."

Security upped at Delhi borders

The Delhi Police intensified security at all border points of the city as thousands of personnel including paramilitary forces have been deployed to deal with any situation emerging out of the nationwide 'chakka jam' being held on Saturday by the farmers protesting the Centre's new agri laws, officials said.

Congressional India Caucus for allowing peaceful demonstration

Meanwhile, the leadership of the powerful Congressional India Caucus has urged the Indian government to ensure that the norms of democracy are maintained and the protesters are allowed to demonstrate peacefully and have access to the Internet, as it discussed the issue of the ongoing farmer's agitation in the country.

Congressman Brad Sherman, Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus said that he convened a meeting with his other Republican Co-Chair Congressman Steve Chabot, and Vice-Chair Congressman Ro Khanna to speak with India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, regarding farmers demonstrations in India.

This was the first meeting of the India Caucus, the largest country-specific caucus in the US House of Representatives, on the issue.

“I urged the Indian government to make sure that the norms of democracy are maintained and that protesters are allowed to protest peaceably and to have access to the Internet, and to journalists. All friends of India hope that the parties can reach an agreement,” Mr. Sherman said.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:35:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farm-unions-chakka-jam-un-seeks-maximum-restraint/article33765662.ece

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