Paramilitary forces in Patiala till Sept 26

Chandigarh/patiala, Sept 22: Just about 24 hours before farmer unions were to assemble outside the Patiala residence of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today extended the deployment of paramilitary forces in the city till September 26.

At the onset, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda submitted that paramilitary forces were deployed in the state till September 20, but were required to stay for another six days at least.

Nanda stated that the CM’s meeting with the delegation of BKU (Rajewal) was fixed for today and representatives of other unions may contact to join the meeting. He pointed out that 7.5 acres had been earmarked about 5 km away from Patiala for the protest.
Taking note of Nanda’s plea, the Bench asserted it deemed appropriate to extend the deployment till September 26, keeping in view “the wider interest, more particularly about the public at large and the area where the assembly is to take place”.
The Bench also took on record assurances by the unions’ counsel that complete peace would prevail in case the agitation was allowed to be held in the city.
Meanwhile, the Patiala administration allowed the farmer unions to protest, not outside the CM’s residence, but at a grain market in Mehmadpur village, 5 km from the city. A day after the HC ruled that an assembly in the absence of requisite permission would not fall within the domain of legality, the seven protesting farmer unions applied for permission to the DC. More than 2,000 police personnel have been put on standby.

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