Updated: September 16, 2021 2:18:24 pm
THIRTY-TWO FARMER outfits of Punjab will hold a meeting at the Singhu border on Friday to discuss issues related to the blockade on NH-44 (Delhi-Ambala). After their meeting, the matter will be discussed by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) for a final call.
Citing a writ petition regarding protesting farmers on NH-44 and the Supreme Court’s August 23 order, Sonipat Deputy Commissioner Lalit Siwach had on Tuesday urged farmer union leaders to either shift to one side of the highway or move to an alternate site. However, farmer leaders insist that protesters have not blocked the way and it was the Delhi Police that had installed barricades on the highway to halt their movement in November 2020 when they were moving to the national capital as part of the ‘Delhi Challo’ call against the three farm laws.
Sources said farm groups may ask the government to first get removed the wall that was constructed to prevent entry of farmers to Delhi last year. Farm leaders claimed that commuters are facing more problems because of the police barricades and the wall.
Sources said farm leaders may consider the possibility of removing their tents from one side of the highway to give passage to commuters if Delhi Police removes its barricades and wall from the highway. Sources in Sonipat say that only a few tents of farmers are left on one side of the highway. However, farmer leaders have ruled out any possibility of moving to an alternative site till their demands are met by the government.
The Sonipat district administration on Tuesday held a meeting with a section of farmer union leaders and urged them to vacate the portion of NH-44 on the Singhu-Kundli border. A farmer leader from Punjab, Major Singh Punnawal, who was present at the meeting, said: “The police barricades and wall constructed on the Delhi side have created more problems for commuters. Because of this, commuters are forced to travel more. This is a ploy of the government to turn commuters against the farmers. We asked the administration to get that wall cleared first. The administration has stated that they will take up the matter with the government.”
“Even during Covid time, farmers had cleared the way for the vehicles carrying oxygen but even then, the wall on the highway was not removed,” said Punnawal, who is general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha’s Punjab unit.
Satnam Singh Sahni, general secretary of BKU (Doaba), said: “The farmers don’t have any wish to stay on the roads. They were compelled to take the path of agitation. They are ready to move from the roads as soon as the government meets their demands. The government has not held any meeting with the farmer leaders after January 22. During the 10-month-long agitation, the Prime Minister did not hold a meeting with the farmers even once.”
Another farmer leader said: “The farmers are fighting to save their land which is their only livelihood. The government should repeal the three farm laws which are anti-farmer.”
The farmers have been suspecting that corporates may grab their land after implementation of the farm laws.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.