NEW DELHI: Thirty-five students of Panjab University have written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and other judges of the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry into alleged police atrocities on the farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three farm laws.
Aanchal Sawa, one of the signatories of the letter, told PTI that the apex court registry has provided the diary number to the letter which may be registered and heard as a PIL.
In the open letter, the students of the Centre for Human Rights and Duties of the university have alleged that there has been "illegitimate use of water cannons, tear gases shells and lathis on peaceful protesting farmers" by police authorities which needs to be probed.
Seeking inquiry into police excesses and illegal detention of some protesters, the letter has also sought a direction to authorities "to withdraw all the cases against innocent farmers which were registered under political vendetta".
"Direct the governments at both Central and State level to ensure safety of all protesters, and provide basic amenities for all, especially women, children and elderly. Mobile toilet vans should be provided at protest places," it said.
"Issue appropriate guidelines, as the court may deem fit, regarding hygienic conditions at protest sites in the backdrop of COVID-19," it said, adding that action be taken to curb 'fake news' and against media channels which are allegedly engaged in misrepresentation, polarisation and sensationalisation of the whole issue.
"After more than two months of peaceful protests in their home states, served with incompatible gestures of Government of India when farmers decided to approach to the National Capital Delhi, the peaceful protestors were thrashed and walloped that it seemed raising voice for the Fundamental Rights as provided by the Supreme Law of the Nation is a dreadful crime," the letter said.
The letter also annexed some pictures to highlight the police atrocities on protesting farmers.
"Despite of addressing this gruesome situation, government and unconscientious overly- biased media outlets are trying to polarize the whole peaceful movement by associating it with separatism," it alleged.
Earlier, the top court, on December 17, last year, had said farmers agitation should be allowed to continue 'without impediment' and it will not 'interfere' with it as the right to protest is a fundamental right.
It had also mooted an idea of putting on hold the implementation of the laws to enable negotiations with the agitating farmers which was opposed by the Centre saying agriculturists would then not come forward for the talks.
The court is likely to list the pleas on farmers' protest in next few days.