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After meeting at Singhu, arhtiyas-farmers decide to gherao I-T officials during raids

Farmer unions, it has been decided, will reach at the location where the I-T team will come for any operation and will join the ahrtiyas. Later offices of I-T officials and even their houses will also be gheraoed.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Updated: December 24, 2020 6:04:48 pm
Punjab arhtiyas strike, Punjab, arhtiyas strikeLabourers and employees sit idle at the grain market in Mullanpur, Ludhiana, while Punjab arhtiyas are on strike. Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh

Farmers and arhtiyas on Wednesday decided that they will together gherao income tax officials in case they come for any search or raid without proper documentation. The decision was taken at a meeting at Singhu border between the 5-member committee of ahrtiyas with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha which includes the representatives of 32 farmer unions of Punjab.

Farmer unions, it has been decided, will reach at the location where the I-T team will come for any operation and will join the ahrtiyas. Later offices of I-T officials and even their houses will also be gheraoed.

Ruldu Singh Mansa, president of the Punjab Kisan Union confirmed the decision.

Soon after the incident of raids at the premises of 7 arhtiyas recently, farmers in Mansa had staged dharna outside the income tax office on their own as well.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, apart from the 5-member committee led by Vijay Kalra, state resident of the Federation of Ahrtiya Association (FAA), many ahrtiyas from different districts of Punjab went on their own to extend support to the farmers.

“We will continue to support farmers. They are linked to us for a long time. It will affect our own business as well apart from farmers being affected due to farm laws. Being a commission agent farmer is our source of earning and the government wants to replace us with bigger middlemen,” said H S Rosha, president of the Khanna Ahrtiya Association.

He added, “I will soon be going to Singhu border. I did not go on Wednesday.”

Khanna is the largest mandi of Punjab

Amarjeet Singh Brar, president of FAA’s Moga unit, said, ”On Wednesday morning, we attended a meeting with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha which had 32 farmer unions of Punjab as well. 15 ahrtiyas of Moga are at Singhu for the past one week.”

Jatinder Garg, vice president of FAA, said, “More than 25 arhtiyas of Bareta Mandi of Mansa district went with me on Wednesday and they will be staying at Singhu for 2-3 days.”

Brar added, “Another plan of visiting at Singhu border district-wise will be formulated soon. All the districts have visited at Singhu as well Tikri at least once from December 7-December 15 when daily 100 vehicles were going to Delhi…. We are in touch with BKU Ugrahan and Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee as well and they are also on the same page with us in connection with the I-T department’s crackdown.”

However, as of now all Punjab mandis are closed till December 25 in protest against the I-T crackdown.

Meanwhile at Sangrur Dana Mandi, nearly 200 ahrtiyas observed a hunger strike from 9.30 am to 4 pm along with Punjab Education Minister Vijayinder Singla in support of farmers on Kisan Diwas.

The Unemployed Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) pass B.Ed Teachers’ Association dubbed the minister’s protest as political drama. Sukhwinder Singh Dhilwan, the leader of the association said,”Twice we had gone to protest outside the house of the education minister in Sangrur and police used force to remove us from that place. We are protesting for jobs and he should hear us as well, if he is so concerned for farmers. We found this hunger strike a political drama.”

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