Around 100 Congress leaders, including party general secretary Jitendra Singh and MPs and MLAs, were arrested from Darrang district on Saturday while protesting the Centre’s farm laws, police said. Darrang Superintendent of Police Amrit Bhuyan told PTI that around 100 leaders were arrested for violating Section 144 of CrPC, which was in place in the district headquarters.
“They had sought permission but were denied. Moreover, COVID-19 protocols are also in place. We arrested them from the protest site and later released all the leaders on bail after completing the necessary formalities,” he added. Along with Singh, Rajya Sabha MPs Ripun Bora and Ranee Narah, Lok Sabha MPs Gaurav Gogoi and MLAs Nandita Das, Rekibuddin Ahmed, Abul Kalam Rasheed Alam, Rakibul Hussain, Jakir Hussain Sikdar, Nurul Huda and many other senior leaders were also arrested by police from the ‘Kishan Tractor Rally’.
“This is an anti-farmer government. Even if they arrest us, we will continue to protest and fight for farmers’ benefit,” Singh, the AICC in-charge for Assam, said while being arrested. The senior Congress leaders and their supporters marched towards Deputy Commisioners office from the Rajiv Bhawan campus at ward no 2 and tried to overcome the bamboo barricades placed by police near Ram Janaki temple chariali on the NH-15.
The Darrang district administration on Friday rejected the application of Darrang Congress Committee for permission to hold a Kishan Tractor Rally citing section 144 of CrPC prohibiting assembly of five or more persons. Bora, the party’s state president, charged the BJP as an “autocratic party” and is “scared of a democratic protest”.
“The BJP government is anti-people. It is acting like the British and torturing the poor farmers. If Congress party comes to power, then it will repeal all the anti-farmer acts,” Gogoi said. The three farm laws — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 — were enacted recently by the Centre.
Farmers’ bodies and opposition parties protesting against the laws have expressed apprehension that these would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporate entities.They demand that the laws be withdrawn.
The Centre has asserted that these new laws will be beneficial for farmers and will increase their income.