Issuance of lookout notices against farmer leaders is 'absolutely wrong': Punjab CM

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Chandigarh, Jan 28 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said the Delhi Police issuing lookout notices against farmer leaders over the tractor rally violence is 'absolutely wrong'.

He also said treating the farmers as 'flight risk' was not only “illogical but condemnable'.

'Where will they flee?' asked the chief minister, adding that most of them are small farmers with small land holdings and not some 'big corporate raiders' who had fled over the past few years after 'looting' the country of billions of rupees.

'You failed to stop these bigwigs but are now targeting these small farmers fighting for their survival,' he said and appealed to the Centre to immediately direct the Delhi Police to withdraw the lookout notices.

The Delhi Police has issued lookout notices against farmer leaders who have been named in an FIR filed in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers' tractor parade in the national capital on Republic Day.

A lookout notice is issued to prevent an accused from leaving the country.

In a statement here, the chief minister also questioned the Delhi Police's decision to name farmer leaders in the FIRs in connection with the violence without any evidence against them.

'How can you blame all the farmer leaders for the mischief done by a breakaway group or the handiwork of some anti-social elements, who instigated the violence at the Red Fort and other parts of the national capital,” he asked.

He reiterated his demand that the Delhi Police not use the violence as an “excuse to harass” farmer leaders in order to “weaken” the agitation of the farmers.

Singh said that all the prominent leaders named in the FIRs had already distanced themselves from the lawlessness of January 26.

Not a single one of them had reportedly been found so far to have made any inflammatory speeches or seen indulging in any provocative acts, he said. If the police have any evidence of the involvement of any of these leaders, they should make it public, the chief minister added.

Amarinder urged the Centre to ensure a free and fair probe into the incidents of January 26 so that the real culprits could be identified and stern action initiated against them.

Victimisation of farmer leaders was neither justified nor honourable, he added. PTI CHS VSD SMN SMN