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Advocates launch helpline for protesting farmers

As protesting farmers face legal challenges emerging out of the tractor parade violence on Republic Day, some lawyer groups have come forward to offer legal assistance to them and have started helpline numbers.

Simranjeet Kaur Gill, an advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, said they are helping those who are in jail or have gone “missing” since the violent protests on Janury 26.

“We are providing legal help to those who have been arrested and missing after the farmers’ tractor parade on Republic Day. A total of 124 people have been arrested so far and 39 are missing since January 26 as per our information. The number is increasing every day,” said Gill, who is at the Singhu border with her team.

The volunteering lawyers have put up some posters under the head advocate for farmers’ advertising two helpline numbers each for the Singhu and Tikri borders, the two major agitation sites.

The cases have been filed under various sections, including attempt to murder, damaging public property, obstructing the public servants performing their duty, Gill said.

She said different teams are working the protest sites and outside.

“We are helping people legally since January 27. We have several teams at the three borders — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur. Around 150 advocates are working at different district courts in the national capital,” she said.

Thousands of protesting farmers had clashed with the police during the tractor rally called by their unions on January 26 to highlight their demand for repeal of the Centre’s three farm laws.

Many of the protesters, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument. Some protesters even hoisted religious flags on its domes and the flagstaff at the ramparts, where the national flag is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day.

On Friday, clashes broke out between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites against farm laws.

Delhi Police SHO (Alipur) Pradeep Paliwal was injured in the violence after a man attacked him with a sword.

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