Habeas corpus plea for two missing from farmer protest sites

New Delhi:┬áHuman rights organisation United Sikhs on Wednesday said it filed a habeas corpus petition in the Delhi High Court for two students who went missing from their home towns and were last reportedly seen at farmers’ protest sites in the national capital.

The petitions were filed for Arjun Singh of Punjab’s Zirakpur, and Purveer Singh of Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.

“We can feel what the family goes through when loved one goes missing. With a painful heart and a heavy throat, we receive their calls almost every other day for updates. We hope we can be of help to such families through our writ petition,” Harpreet Kaur, legal director, United Sikhs, said in a statement.

Habeas corpus is a prayer before the court to direct the state to produce somebody, who has been untraceable for long, with no clue of whereabouts, either with the family or anybody else.

“Through its legal aid wing, United Sikhs has been providing support to reunite farmers who have been untraceable since January 26. It is running an active campaign to locate the missing farmers or their kin who have not been found at protest sites and have also not reached home.

“As part of its efforts, a helpdesk has been set up and a toll-free number 1800-258-6769 has been functional since November 29, 2020, and through emails at missing-protestors@unitedsikhs.org,” said Harpreet Kaur.

The rights panel received details of 84 untraceable farmers through all its information channels. Most of them were later found in the arrested list. For others, all efforts like a thorough search at all protest sites on the borders, posting details on social media, pasting posters at borders and enquires were made for them at local hospitals.

Through these efforts, it found Jaswinder Singh, who was reported to be missing from Tikri, from the Singhu border.

For those untraceable, it was decided to move the court through habeas corpus petitions. Two more such petitions are ready to be filed soon, after final checks by the legal aid wing.