Tewatia sent to judicial custody over land stir

Farmer leader Manveer Singh Tewatia, arrested from New Delhi for allegedly instigating violence in Bhatta-Parsaul.

Noida: Farmer leader Manveer Singh Tewatia, arrested from New Delhi for allegedly instigating violence in Bhatta-Parsaul in May, was Sunday sent to judicial custody by a court here even as police said they have recovered an official rifle stolen by him during the agitation.

Tewatia was presented before Warrant Magistrate Anil Kumar Yadav who sent him to judicial custody.

The farmer leader will now be presented in court July 23.

Tewatia told the court that he feared for his life inside the jail. He requested the court to get a medical examination done on him before his admission to the Dasna Jail at Ghaziabad.

He was accompanied by his mother Harbeeri Devi, wife Nutan and another farmer Premveer Tewatia, who was also sent to jail earlier after he was named in an police case at Dankore in the wake violence in May. Premveer is now out on bail.

Several farmers from nearby districts also reached the court complex to support Manveer Tewatia and shouted slogans. They, however, remained outside the court compound.

The farmer leader`s family claimed that he was implicated by the state government for supporting the peasants` struggle against land acquisation. They asserted that he was not a criminal. He only led a farmers` movement.

"Had he been here in Uttar Pradesh, police would have killed him in encounter. He saw a danger to his life and this is why he was hiding in Delhi. Now that he is arrested, we fear that he could be killed like doctor Sachan in Lucknow jail. There is a danger to his life. It seems supporting farmers` cause is a crime in this state," said Manveer Tewatia`s wife Nutan.

Police claim to have recovered a carbine and a rifle which they said were robbed from them by Manveer Tewatia and his accomplices during the agitation in Bhatta-Parsaul villages against the acquisition of land.

At the time of his arrest Saturday, he was wanted in 22 cases lodged against him in the last six months. Out of these, 14 are of heinous nature like murder and kidnapping, police said.

Tewatia was arrested from near Tilak Bridge in New Delhi by Uttar Pradesh police after a chase.

The May violence between agitating farmers and police had left four people dead and about 15, including Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate Deepak Agrawal, injured.


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