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WANTED BY Delhi Police in connection with the Republic Day violence, Punjabi activist Lakha Sidhana has given a call to Punjabis in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to attend in large numbers a rally at Mehraj village of Bathinda district on February 23.
Lakha’s own village, Sidhana, is also located near Mehraj, which is also the ancestral village of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
In a video shot at an undisclosed location, Lakha said, “I appeal to Punjabis from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to reach the rally at Mehraj on February 23. There should be a flood of people to give message to Delhi that youth is not disappointed and ready to fight till end to get farm laws repealed.”
The rally has been called to show support for Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana, Nodeep Kaur and other arrested youths who were part of the farmer agitation and “give a message to Union government that youth of Punjab is upbeat and not defeated or disappointed.”
At the same time, this was the first time that Lakha told farmer union leaders not to make statements “creating divide among protesters”.
Lakha didn’t make it clear if he would be attending the rally. He did ask his Facebook supporters to attend, at a time when ‘kisan mahapanchayats’ are being held by farmer unions.
Lakha started his video with a five minute speech on how to save the Punjabi language. The second part of his video focused on advising farmer leaders to maintain unity and support all arrested youths.
He said, “Some youth also express resentment and ask why I always focus on unity and ask them to remain attached with farmer leaders.
Youth tell me that other side they (farmer union leaders) are doing this and that. But we should understand that Lakha Sidhana, Deep Sidhu or individuals are not important. Farmer agitation and Punjab is all that is important.”
Addressing farmer unions, Lakha said, “I always focused on unity. I appeal to farmer union leaders that you should also show big heart. You should take initiative to say that you are with every youth of Punjab who are prosecuted by Delhi government and police. Farmer unions leaders should raise their voice for all such youth from common platform so that governments should know that we are one.”
Talking to The Indian Express, Sanyukat Kisan Morcha legal cell in-charge Prem Singh Bhangu had said that SKM would only look after the cases of youth, who innocently violated the Delhi police route and not those did it intentionally.
Also, Lakha Sidhana and Deep Sidhu were declared traitors from SKM stage and some of SKM leaders are repeatedly alleging Lakha Sidhana and Deep Sidhu for hurting the farmer agitation. Some are also accusing Deep Sidhu and Lakha Sidhana of intentionally playing into hands of BJP and RSS.
Lakha said, “Government is watching us fighting with each other. They are hoping that our own infighting would lead to the end of the agitation…Now it is upon us how to restore agitation.”
He said, “The responsibility of the agitation, which was on Punjab leaders’ shoulders, has already shifted to somewhere else. There is need to bring that responsibility back on the shoulders of Punjab leaders and youth should stand by the leaders to make it happen. Farmer leaders should also control those leaders, who are making unwanted comments and such comments, which divide us, shouldn’t be repeated.”
“Farmer unions should hold a press conference in support of every activist and student arrested due to agitation. The real leader always takes everyone along…We are still with you and will stand with you till end. Government will oppress our people in coming days,” said Lakha.
“To give strong mesage to Delhi that Punjab is upbeat, gathering should be so massive that government gets the message loud and clear. Youth, women and elders all should reach this rally to raise their voice against the attempt of government to terrorise us. Now it is not about showing support on Facebook. Now it is time to come on ground,” Lakha said.
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