Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday slammed the Centre after National Investigation Agency (NIA) issued summons to farmers' leader Baldev Singh Sirsa, Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and many others, including officials of non-profit Khalsa Aid, in a case related to the banned outfit 'Sikhs For Justice'.
Singh condemned the issuance of NIA notices. He said, "I strongly condemn the issuance of NIA notices to various farmers and their supporters in the midst of the anti-farm laws agitation."
The Punjab CM added that instead of resolving the issue, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) "is resorting to harassment of our farmers". "Do our farmers look like secessionists and terrorists? Instead of resolving the issue, @BJP4India is resorting to harassment of our farmers," he added.
The summons comes amid the stalemate between the Centre and the farmers' union over the three contentious farm laws. The farmers are insisting on their demands for repealing the laws, while the government has said it "cannot and will not repeal the laws".
Earlier, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal also lashed out at the Centre over the issuance of NIA notices to the farmers.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted: "First BJP-led Centre defames #KisanAndolan by branding farmers as Khalistanis, then attempts to tire out protesters through sham talks & now via SC. When all tricks fail the #NIA is now being used to scare kisan leaders. Such misuse of instt is condemnable & totally unacceptable!"
"Strongly condemn Centre's attempts to intimidate farmer leaders & supporters of #KisanAndolan by calling them for questioning by #NIA & ED. They aren't anti-nationals. And after failure of talks for the 9th time, it's absolutely clear that GOI is only trying to tire out farmers," tweeted Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Meanwhile, the tenth round of talks are scheduled on Tuesday (January 19).