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In Patiala, farmer leaders vow to intensify protests

As slogans reverberated through the air, the protesters rued that central government had passed these ‘black laws’ despite agriculture being a subject in the state list.

Written by Jaspreet Singh | Patiala | Updated: December 9, 2020 11:38:54 am
Haryana numbers swell at protestsProtesting farmers at the Punjab-Haryana border, in Shambhu, Patiala. (Express photo by Harmeet Sodhi)

“Modi sarkar murdabad, Khattar sarkar murdabad, corporate media murdabad…”

Farmers from Hassanpur, Jhill, Baran, Fagan Majra, Reeth Kheri, Majri Akalian, Mirzapur among other rural and urban areas turned out in large numbers at Patiala’s Sirhind Road in support of the Bharat Bandh call given to oppose farm laws passed by the Centre. As slogans reverberated through the air, the protesters rued that central government had passed these ‘black laws’ despite agriculture being a subject in the state list.

Farmer leaders and heads of many villages spearheaded the sit-in protest in the city. As the farmers used tractors and trucks to block both side of the road, they allowed commuters who cited emergency reasons like the ambulances and patients in private vehicles. The farmers also allowed a wedding procession and three-wheelers ferrying passengers to a cremation ground.

Tejinder Singh (26), who hails from village, Baran said, “The government has to accept our demands and repeal the three contentious laws. Why is the government testing the waters? The farmers are not at all happy with the recently enacted laws. Listen to the demands of the actual stakeholders. I had been to Delhi. It felt like I had been to a fair. The courage and spirit of the farmers is getting widespread support from everywhere. Many people from our village are still in Delhi. If the government doesn’t concede, we will again go to Delhi.”

He added that farmer protests across the country have united diverse communities.

Jagjeet Singh (35) of Jhill village added, “Some people who don’t have a farming background don’t understand why we are protesting so hard. These people strongly assert that farm laws are for the benefits of farmers. I am so sure that the farm laws are not for our benefit. First, the laws were passed without any discussion. If the provision of MSP is not on paper, we can’t believe the verbal promises made by the government. With the new farm laws, the legal provision is degraded.”

When asked if he believes government will accept their demands, he asserted, “The government will repeal the laws after getting an order from corporate houses.”

Another protestor Manjinder Kaur said, “The government should accept our demands or we will also go to Delhi on December 10. One person from each household of our village has come to protest.”

Farmers had come to the protest site at 10 am and the protest continue till around 3 pm.

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