SHIMLA: Three people, believed to be farmers from Punjab, were arrested here on Tuesday on charges of holding a protest meeting against the three contentious Central farm laws at the historic Ridge in violation of prohibitory orders.
The police claimed that they were holding a meeting at the prohibited place, while the farmers claimed that like other tourists, they were simply present there without violating the rules, saying that their rights have been violated.
Superintendent of Police Mohit Chawla told the media that holding a procession or meeting is banned on the Ridge following the declaration of the core zone by the high court. They had not procured any permission either from the local administration or the police, he said.
“They have been booked for violations under the Indian Penal Code,” Chawla added.
According to the police, they belong to Mohali and came from the Singhu border to motivate the locals against the farm laws.
“We were just standing and discussing the black farm laws when the police detained us. We didn’t raise any slogan. Is this democracy? Are we living in a free country,” one of the detained men told the media before being whisked away to the nearby police station.
State Congress chief Kuldeep Rathore reached the police station and questioned the police for ‘illegally’ arresting the trio.