NHRC seeks report from Delhi, Haryana, UP on COVID control measures at farmers' protest sites

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Visuals of a farmers gathering in Haryana's Karnal (ANI)
Visuals of a farmers gathering in Haryana's Karnal (ANI)

New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notices to Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Governments seeking reports on steps taken to control the spread of COVID-19 infection at the protest sites of the farmers.

NHRC has taken cognizance of a complainant that the mass gatherings of protesting farmers, flouting COVID appropriate behaviour, are against the very rules/norms laid down by the Central Government and the advisory of the Commission itself as safeguards against the pandemic.

As per the complainant, the situation is likely to worsen day by day due to the increased inflow of the farmers at the sites of protests. They are not only putting their lives at risk but also posing a risk, as the potential carriers of the virus, to the others in the rural areas.

Accordingly, the Commission has issued notices to the chief secretaries of NCT of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to submit reports of action taken to control the spread of COVID-19 infection at the protest sites of the farmers. The report is to be submitted within four weeks.

Issuing the notices, the Commission has observed that the country is passing through an unprecedented and scary second wave of COVID-19, which has already claimed more than three lakh human lives and is still raging virulently in different parts of the country.

It has further observed that the central and state governments are struggling against all odds to save lives in the face of inadequate health facilities. Measures like lockdowns, containment zones and COVID protocols are employed to somehow overpower the deadly disease, which is now leading to other serious diseases like black fungus, white fungus etc. In these extraordinary circumstances, our sole aim has to be to save human lives.

The complainant has also stated that more than 300 farmers have died during these ongoing protests due to several reasons including COVID infections. The cases of black fungus are also rising. He has sought the intervention of the Commission apprehending that the situation may become more worrisome as the farmers, in large numbers, are planning to observe May 26 2021 as the Black Day.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi borders - Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur - against the Centre's new farm laws which have been place on hold by the Supreme Court. (ANI)

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