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Farmers Rights Activists Arrested after they Complain about 'Missing' 900 Quintals PDS Rice

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Golaghat, April 9, 2020:

Assam Police have arrested the  Advisor and General Secretary of Jeepal Krishak Sramik Samiti, a Golaghat-based farmers rights body in connection with a 2018 case. Interestingly, the duo was arrested when they arrived at the Bokakhat Police Station to give their statements on their complaint regarding Officials siphoning off 900 quintals rice that was meant for public distribution amid lockdown.
Soneswar Narah, who is advisor to the farmers rights body and Pranab Doley, the Secretary General had complained about 900 quintals rice missing from the Kaziranga Cooperative Storehouse.

“They have arrested us on false accusations. They cannot arrest the ones involved in the missing case. So, when we came here to give statement after the Police personnel called them, we were arrested, said Soneswar Narah while he was taken to the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Bokakhat.
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According to Bokakhat Police, the farmers rights leaders were arrested in a police case dating back to 2018 that cites them for “obstructing police duty” and a police Official said, “They have been arrested in a case-related to number 290/2018 under sections 109, 188, 353 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These are non-bailable offences and are mostly related to obstruction to police duty. The investigation officer will know the details and as of now it is not suitable to give details.”
The duo had reportedly sought justice for a boy who was allegedly hit by a dumper belonging to a prominent local businessman. The boy had succumbed to the injuries. Soneswar Narah, the Advisor of Jeepal Krishak Sramik Samiti had filed a case at the Bokakhat Police Station then.
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A case was then filed against the two leaders for obstructing police from performing their duties. Doley had also raised his voice following the deaths of tea garden workers in Golaghat due to alcohol poisoning. He had accused the health department of ascribing the deaths to alcohol without conducting any pathological procedures in most cases.
It may be mentioned here that the “missing” report of 900 quintals rice has become a concern amid the lockdown phase as many of the families in remote areas are deprived of essentials despite Government’s orders to provide them with the essential items.

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