Lucknow: The Sambhal administration in Uttar Pradesh, which issued notices to six farmer leaders asking them to submit personal bonds of Rs 50 lakh each on the charge of provoking local farmers against agri laws, Friday withdrew the notices saying it was a “clerical error”.
The notices were issued on 12 December based on a local police station’s report that had warned of breach of peace during a protest by the farmer leaders against the three laws in the district. The farmers had organised a protest in the district headquarters that day.
The district administration, however, revised the amount to Rs 50,000 for each farmer Thursday.
Sambhal’s Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Deependra Yadav told ThePrint the issue has been sorted out.
“These farmer leaders don’t have to pay anything now. There was some clerical error that had created a controversy. There were allegations (against them) of provoking local farmers in the village (against the farm laws) and also breaching peace in the area, which could have escalated tension. They were asked to submit personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each, but by mistake it was written Rs 50 lakh by Hayatnagar police station.”
The SDM said when he came to know about the matter, he spoke to the SHO of the police station, who accepted the “clerical error”.
“I asked him to have a relook at the whole issue. We have decided if they are not provoking local farmers, then this notice should be taken back. Actually, in police stations, we have clerks who are responsible for typing, so it might have happened by mistake,” he added.
The six farmers who were served the notices were Bharatiya Kisan Union (Asli) district president Rajpal Singh Yadav, and farmer leaders Jaiveer Singh, Brahmachari Yadav, Satendra Yadav, Raudas and Veer Singh, who all are associated with the BKU.
The notices were issued under Section 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (magistrate order against any person who is likely to commit breach of peace).
ThePrint called UP government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh’s office for a response on the matter, but his staff said he is not available for comment.
Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary (Information), said: “There are no such guidelines for imposing such heavy amounts. We have checked with the local administration and it was a normal notice.”
‘Need written clarification of withdrawing the notice’
BKU’s Rajpal Singh Yadav told ThePrint sending notices of such a hefty sum amounts to “unnecessary harassment” by the administration.
“This government is anti-farmer and they are showing it every day. We don’t believe what the administration is saying now. We have a hard copy on the Rs 50 lakh notice. We need written clarification of withdrawing it,” he added.
Yadav said: “We will also continue to raise voice against these farm laws.”
SP questions ‘clerical error’
Meanwhile, former CM and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav raised the matter on Twitter.
“The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is imposing Rs 50 lakh notices against protesting farmers at a time when the top court has given legal validation to peaceful protests by the farmers. Such an anti-people government like the BJP never existed before,” he wrote.
उप्र की भाजपा सरकार प्रदर्शनकारी किसानों पर प्रति किसान 50-50 लाख के मुआवज़े के मुक़दमे ‘ठोक’ रही है जबकि उच्चतम न्यायालय किसानों के शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन को वैधानिक मान्यता दे चुका है।
भाजपा जितनी जनविरोधी सरकार आज तक नहीं आई।#नहीं_चाहिए_भाजपा
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) December 18, 2020
Juhi Singh, SP spokesperson, said the clerical or typographical error is an “excuse”.
“Why do they have to withdraw it now after everything is in public domain? It means they are realising their mistake. The administration is following the order of this anti-farmer government,” she added.