Even as the Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the validity of the British-era sedition law and why it was still in use to book people, a sedition case has been slapped on some protesting farmers who were part of the ongoing agitation gainst three controversial farm laws passed by Centre last year.
The case has been registered by Sirsa police in Haryana who booked nearly 100 farm leaders protesters under the controversial sedition law following an alleged attack on an official vehicle of Haryana Deputy Speaker and BJP leader Ranbir Gangwa. The attack took place on July 11 in Sirsa amid a protest against the new farm laws as well as against leaders of the state's ruling BJP-Jannayak Janata Party alliance in which Gangwa's car was left vandalised. The incident prompted strict action from Sirsa Police who booked two farm leaders Prahlad Singh and Harcharan Singh along with nearly 100 more farmers under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 124-A for sedition and 307 for an attempt to murder.
The farmers' agitation has previously come under attack from politicians in Haryana. Earlier in June, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said the protesting farmer unions should not remain adamant on the repeal of the new central farm laws, adding that making it a precondition for talks with the government does not serve any purpose.
He also claimed that only a "handful of people" were opposing the farm laws and that "common farmers are happy".
“Those spearheading the agitation are in reality not farmers. Real farmers have no objection with the farm laws, they are happy,” he had said at the time.
The chief minister further alleged that those opposing the farm laws are only doing so due to political reasons.
The current attack in Sirsa was also criticised by Haryana Cabinet minister Anil Vij who accused the farmers' agitation of becoming increasingly violent. He added that such a violent agitation cannot be allowed to continue in a democratic country.
Incidentally, the news comes on the same day that the Supreme Court asked the Centre why the colonial-era law used to muzzle freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, was still being used to book people today.
This is the first case of sedition that has been slapped on agitating farmers who have been protesting on the border of New Delhi since last year, demanding a repeal of three farm laws passed by the Centre.