NHRC issues notices to Delhi, Haryana, U.P. over farmers’ protest

Commission took cognisance of complaint alleging that COVID norms are being flouted

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notices to the Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments on a complaint that farmers’ protests violated COVID-19 norms, endangering themselves and others.

The NHRC said the complainant alleged that the situation was likely to worsen with an inflow of protesters at the sites. The complainant sought the NHRC’s intervention as the farmers have planned to observe Wednesday as a “black day”, marking six months since they began their agitation against the Centre’s new agriculture laws.

The NHRC asked the three Chief Secretaries for reports within four weeks on steps taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the protest sites.

“Issuing the notices, the Commission has observed that the country is passing through an unprecedented and scary second wave of COVID-19, which has already claimed more than 3 lakh human lives and is still raging virulently in different parts of the country. It has further observed that the Central and State governments are struggling against all odds to save lives in the face of inadequate health facilities.”

At such a time, the NHRC said the only aim was to save lives. It said the complainant also said more than 300 farmers had died during the agitation due to several reasons, including COVID-19.

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