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In Haryana, villagers open hearts, purse to keep protest fire burning

Social panchayats are being held where a large number of villagers are turning up to offer donations to continue the agitation. In some areas, farmers are offering upto Rs 20 lakh per village.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 18, 2021 1:33:39 pm
Haryana farmers protest, Farm laws, Funds for farmers agitation, CHandigarh news, Haryana news, Indian express newsFarmers during a social panchayat at Jind district’s Chhatar village on Sunday. (Express photo)

Amid questions being raised over source of funds for farmers’ agitation, financial support is pouring in for the stir from Haryana villages.

Social panchayats are being held where a large number of villagers are turning up to offer donations to continue the agitation. In some areas, farmers are offering upto Rs 20 lakh per village.

The farmers are anguished over questions from some quarters on the “funding” for the agitation terming it a ploy to defame them. They alleged that “anti-farmer” forces have tried to derail their agitation on several occasions. During a panchayat held at Chhattar village of Jind district Sunday, a farmer Jogender Mor said, “The questions being raised on the funds for agitation are baseless. Donations offered by farmers and their sympathisers are being termed “funding” to defame the agitation. Those in the power even say that the agitators at Delhi borders are not farmers.”

Mor said they have decided to collect more than Rs 20 lakh from their village for transport and ration purposes. The villagers are already supplying milk for those sitting at Delhi borders apart from running two langars (community kitchen) there.

“You see, all those sitting in today’s panchayat are farmers. Those who are on the country’s borders are sons of farmers. The farmers are the backbone of the country and the efforts are being made to break it. We will fight to save this country. The farmers have shown that they are fighting for their rights,” he added.

Former Chhatar village sarpanch Kala said, “Here even a labourer has donated Rs 200 for the agitation. Is it funding from outside the country? In our village, the residents are ready to collect even Rs 2 crore to continue the agitation. Our village has banned the entry of BJP-JJP leaders. We will support only those who are standing by farmers during this phase”.

The villagers said the farmers, including women, will move to Delhi’s Tikri border on January 23 for the “tractor parade” on January 26. They also hinted that they will take 15 JCBs with them to remove any barricades put on roads to halt their movement. However, they insisted that their agitation will be peaceful.

“Our tractors will move in queues as per their colour during the parade,” said Karampal Fauji, an ex-serviceman. “We have plans to continue the agitation till 2024. Either they accept our demands by then or we will defeat them (BJP) in elections,” he added.

The farmers from neighbouring village Karsindhu have decided to donate Rs 10 lakh while residents of Ghogriya village will collect Rs 6 lakh for the ongoing agitation. In a panchayat held in Ghogriya, the villagers have decided that at least one person from each of the families will go to Delhi to participate in the tractor parade on January 26.

A farmer from Sisai village of Hisar district Pradeep Sihag said that more than Rs 15 lakh have been collected from their village for the agitation. “In a panchayat of Barah khap held at Rakhi Garhi village, the villagers decided to collect Rs 1,000 from each of the families residing in over a dozen neighbouring villages. All tractor-trolleys will move to Delhi from these villages. If anybody is unable to take their tractor-trolley to Delhi, then he will have to donate Rs 5,100 to the village committee so that another vehicle can be arranged,” added Sihag.

A historian MM Juneja said the ongoing farmer agitation is “indeed a unique mass movement in the history of post-independence India”. “Kisan movement has one plus point. In future, the government shall always give due consideration to the people concerned. The scholars will conduct research on it’s various aspects,” added Juneja, a retired professor of Hisar’s CRM Jat College.

Juenja has authored 31 books including seven on Bhagat Singh. He is also chairman of Bhagat Singh School of Learning, a forum meant to spread patriotism among the youths in the region.

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