Aligarh farmers' meeting: RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary, 5000 others booked
(Sourced from PTI)
The Uttar Pradesh Police has booked Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary and over 5000 others who attended a major farmers' meeting in Aligarh district two days ago under the Epidemic Diseases Act for allegedly violating COVID-19 protocols. The FIR, lodged around 9:30 pm on Tuesday, names only 22 individuals, including Chaudhary, while the others are unnamed.
The RLD has been holding a series of meetings with the farmers in UP and is scheduled to have such events till February end in a bid to reach out to the people over the three contentious central agri-marketing laws enacted last September.
"Around 5000 to 6000 people were attending the farmers' mahapanchayat in protest against new farm laws where RLD leader also came and raised support for Rakesh Tikait in the event presided by Chaudhary Raj Singh," the FIR stated. "Event was held amid COVID-19 pandemic with participants without face masks, not adhering to social distancing rules and in violation of CrPC 144 orders," it added.
Attaching a news report about the FIR on around 5,000 people, Chaudhary on Thursday morning tweeted, "Baba can tell us when and where should I come to be arrested," in a veiled reference to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
बाबा बता दें कब और कहाँ गिरफ़्तारी देनी है! pic.twitter.com/VgBv2UA71V— Jayant Chaudhary (@jayantrld) February 11, 2021
The FIR has been lodged under the Indian Penal Code Section 188, Section 269, Section 270, and under Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act. "Those booked have also been charged with rioting under Section 147 of the IPC," the FIR lodged over a complaint by a local sub-inspector at the Gonda Police station in Aligarh stated.
IPC Section 188 states disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant, Section 269 states unlawfully or negligently spreading infection of any disease dangerous to life, and Section 270 states malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.
Thousands of farmers are encamped at Delhi's border points at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur since November end with a demand that the Centre repeal these laws and make a new one to guarantee minimum support price for crops. The government, which has held eleven rounds of talks with the protesting farmer unions, has maintained the laws are pro-farmer.