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Serving notice under Goonda Act for participating in peaceful farmer protests by Varanasi district administration

Image Credit :- Junputh

Ramjanam Yadav

HRD associated with NAPM and Swaraj Abhiyan 

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on January 27, 2021, regarding misuse of law and political reprisal by Vanarasi district administration by serving notice to HRDs under Goonda Act for participating in the peaceful farmers’ protest. Mr. Ramjanam Yadav is an HRD and social activist associated with the National Alliance of Peoples Movement and Swaraj Abhiyan working on issues of farmers' rights. 

Mr. Yadav on his return after participating in the Farmers protest at the Shahajahanpur border near Delhi found a notice served to him under Goonda Act by Ran Vijay Singh, Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Varanasi, dated 29 December 2021. The notice accused him of being a habitual offender in committing a crime or attempting a crime along with a gang. The notice claimed that there was sufficient evidence to book him under Goonda Act and he was asked to submit a written explanation by 15th January that why he should not be booked. 

It is not only Mr. Yadav but several other activists from Varanasi such as Mr. Ramji Singh, district secretary All India Kishan Sabha, Mr. Jaishankar Singh, district secretary Communist Party of India, Mr. Shivaraj Yadav, BHU student, Mr. Bansraj Patel, member of Communist Party of India (Marxist), Mr. Nehaluddin, Md. Mohammad Alam and Mr. Shivshankar Yadav have also been served notices under Goonda Act for supporting farmers’ protests. 

None of the provisions under Goonda Act applies to the above-mentioned activists and they have the constitutional right to congregate and protest peacefully for constitutionally guaranteed rights. This is brazen misuse of power by the district administration of Varanasi to intimidate and harass citizens and repress their constitutional right to peaceful protest.

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