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50 detained ahead of protest in Lal Chowk in support of farmers’ demands in J&K

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Srinagar, Feb 16: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday detained 50 trade union leaders and activists who were planning to hold a protest at Lal Chowk here in support of the demands of agitating farmers.

The protest was planned in response to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s call for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ to press the government to accept the agitating farmers’ demands, including a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

The leaders and activists were detained by police near Pratap Park on Residency Road as they were assembling for protests and taken to Kothibagh police station, officials said.

CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami condemned the police action.

“Condemning in no uncertain terms the use of forces against the peaceful protest of Apple Farmers’ Federation of India, scheme workers and CITU leaders organised in response to Grameen Bharat Bandh,” Tarigami said on a series of posts on X.

He claimed that scores of leaders, including Kulgam District Development Council (DDC) chairman Mohammad Afzal, Apple Farmers’ Federation of India president Zahoor Ahmad Rather, general secretary Abdul Rasheed, were “unjustly arrested after being bundled into police vehicles”.

“The use of brute force against peaceful protesters is an affront to democracy and a violation of fundamental rights,” he added.

Farmers from Punjab began their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on Tuesday but were stopped by security personnel at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana.

The protesting farmers have been camping at the border points ever since. Their agitation entered the fourth day on Friday.–(PTI)

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