The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in state capital Lucknow “with immediate effect” till 5 April in order to maintain law and order.
In a statement issued in the evening of 1 March, Lucknow Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Naveen Arora said that there was a strong possibility of the farmers’ agitation aggravating, which could create a law-and-order situation in Lucknow.
The press release further warned that political parties, student organisations, or farmer unions could hold protests in the region and that may lead to an “adverse effect” on the prevailing peaceful situation.
“In view of the above, Section 144 has been imposed in Lucknow with immediate effect till 5th April to maintain law and order situation in the Commissionerate,’’ the order said.
It said that festivals including Maha Shivratri, Holika Dahan, Shab-e-Barat, Good Friday, and Easter were round the corner and anti-social elements may try to disrupt peace on the occasion.
The press note cited concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in the region.
However, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has claimed that the Narendra Modi government’s “silence” for the past few days indicates that it is planning some steps against the farmers’ agitation over newly enacted agriculture laws.
Tikait stressed that it was the government that would have to come forward with a proposal for talks to resume with the protesting farmers.
Before leaving for Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar on 28 February night, the BKU leader told reporters in Bijnor’s Afzalgarh, “The government’s silence for the past 15-20 days is indicating that something is going to happen. The government is planning some steps against the agitation.”
However, Tikait said farmers will not step back till a solution is found.
“The farmer is ready. He will look after his crop as well as the agitation. Let the government hold talks when it has the time,” he said.
Tikait said farmers’ “mahapanchayats” would be held at several places in the country till 24 March.