Protesting farmers blocked the Jammu-Pathankot highway for several hours over the arrest of their leader and another man in connection with the violence that unfolded on India’s Republic Day in Delhi.
Jammu and Kashmir United Kisan Front Chairman Mohinder Singh and Mandeep Singh were arrested by Delhi Police on Monday night.
Mohinder is a resident of Jammu city and was leading the agitation against the three farm laws which de-regulate agriculture sector.
The protesters, mostly Sikhs including the family members of the arrested men, blocked the highway near Digiana Ashram, alleging that the two are being falsely implicated in the case as they are leading the ongoing farmers’ agitation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Delhi Police said they were “active participants” and “key conspirators” in the violence at the historic Red Fort during the farmers’ tractor parade on January 26.
However, the protestors said they were “singled out and implicated” in the case because they worked for the welfare of farmers in Jammu and Kashmir.
The government is misusing its power and anyone raising his or her voice against the government policies is being silenced through illegal ways,” one of the participants, a farmer, said amid anti-government sloganeering.
The farmers said the two arrested men are supporting the ongoing agitation against the new agricultural laws and had reached the national capital several hours after the violence broke out.
“They had gone to Delhi, and not Pakistan. Holding protest is our democratic and constitutional right, but this government is working in a dictatorial manner and trying to silence the opponents into submission,” the protestors said and threatened to intensify the agitation if both the arrested persons are not released immediately.