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Friday, February 26, 2021

Republic Day violence: 16 days on, 65-yr-old woman still looking for clues to missing son

Family members say Bajinder had gone to Tikri border of Delhi along with other farmers from the village on January 24 to join the ongoing agitation against three farm laws.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
February 12, 2021 11:42:25 am
Republic Day violence, farmers protest, tractor rally violenceBajinder, who hails from Kandela village of Haryana’s Jind district, is among those farmers who went missing after violence broke out during tractor parade in the national capital on the Republic Day. (Express Photo by Anil Sharma/File)

For the past 16 days, Santosh Devi has been searching frantically for any clue that may lead to the whereabouts of her son Bajinder Singh,30, who went missing after the farmers’ tractor parade in Delhi on January 26.

“We are going to dharna venues looking for clues. We only hope that one day he will return. What else can we do? How I can be strong when I have lost my son,” says Santosh.

The 65-year-old has taken ill. “I haven’t had a proper meal,” says Santosh, 65, who had lost his husband Khujana to throat cancer, almost 14 years back.

Bajinder, who hails from Kandela village of Haryana’s Jind district, is among those farmers who went missing after violence broke out during tractor parade in the national capital on the Republic Day.

Family members say Bajinder had gone to Tikri border of Delhi along with other farmers from the village on January 24 to join the ongoing agitation against three farm laws. “A farmer from our village told me that he had seen Bajinder in a trolley on January 26, but didn’t have any idea when he left the vehicle,” says his elder brother Surender Redhu, 33.

The family owns just one acre of land. Family members say Bajinder was not carrying a mobile phone when he left for the Delhi border. “He is illiterate and doesn’t know how to operate a mobile phone. We never allowed him to go to even neighbouring Jind town alone,” says Redhu.

“We were helpless the initial few days as the internet services were suspended after the Red Fort incident. As soon as the internet services were resumed, we put his photo on Facebook and WhatsApp groups seeking help to get him located. We also went to the dharna venues with his photos,” added Redhu, who works in a milk plant as a worker.

The efforts to locate Bajinder was launched by his cousin Baljeet, a worker at an automobile factory in Gurgaon. Several lawyers too offered help to the farmer outfits. With the help of these lawyers, Baljeet filed a habeas Corpus before Delhi High Court.
“(Nangloi Police Station) refused to register any missing complaint and gave false assurance that they will let him know in case any information regarding his brother is received,” mentioned the petition alleging inaction on the part of Delhi Police. “The inaction and negligent attitude of.(police) have led to the apprehension that his brother has been illegally detained by the (police),” mentioned the petitioner.

On the other hand, Delhi Police Tuesday told the High Court that three teams have been constituted to locate Bajinder and they have interrogated 15 people in this regard. The police also told the court that it has not arrested any such person in connection with the violence which occurred on January 26. Meanwhile, an FIR has also been registered in Nangloi police station under the charges of abduction on the complaint of Baljeet in reference to the habeas Corpus.

Kandela village is known for participation in the farmer agitations since 2002 when the locals had waged a battle against the then Chautala government seeking waiver of electricity dues. Even in the ongoing agitation, farmers from this village are actively participating in protests. A Kisan Mahapanchayat was held here on February 3. It was addressed by BKU leader Rakesh Tikait.

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