Scores of victims of what the Shiromani Akali (SAD) has dubbed as “brazen hooliganism, high handedness and terror tactics used against them by elements claiming to act on behalf of the Samyukat Kisan Morcha” on Monday called upon leaders of the ongoing farm agitation to “identify, isolate and punish the guilty in an exemplary way”.
The Akali leadership, which included SAD spokesperson, Daljit Singh Cheema, former MP, Prem Singh Chandumajra, and senior party leader Maheshinder Singh, addressed a press conference in Chandigarh on Monday where they represented the “victims”, narrating their “horrific tales of torture, harassment, and humiliation while they were on their way to a protest march on September 17 to support the farmers’ demands for revocation of the three Black Laws passed by Parliament in September last year”.
The Akali leaders said, “Many of the victims had actually been active participants in the farmers’ protests, camping for months with their families at both Tikri and Singhu borders”
Some of the victims, they said, had even contributed to Sanyukta Kisan Morcha both with money running into lakhs as well as through other materials, like truckloads of woodstock, atta, and other items of consumption.
The “victims”, the SAD leaders said, included a dharmi fauji who had deserted the Army in protest against “Operation Bluestar”, a member of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and others.
“These elements – about whose nefarious acts the SKM must clarify their own stand -used humiliating tactics including desecrating symbols Sikh identity like turbans and beards,” said one of the “victims” at the press conference on Monday. “Many of them were totally drunk and used filthy and vulgar language against ladies and elders,” said a woman, alleging that drunken people forcefully entered the vehicle and hurled abuses.
The “victims” said that it was for the leaders of the SKM to see if these elements, who acted purportedly on their behalf, were members of the farm organsiation or if they were actually acting on behalf of some “government agencies” to defame the Kisan movement as well as create divisions between the SKM and those who were actually going to Delhi to express solidarity and support for the farmers movement.
Chandumajra called upon the SKM leaders to “take these incidents very seriously as these could have been aimed at defaming the farmers struggle as well as the SAD-BSP peaceful democratic efforts to further the farmers’ struggle against the three Black Laws”.
He urged the SKM leaders to “take legal steps, including the registration of police cases against those who misused the SKM banner to indulge in acts of violence.”