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Farmers’ protest in Delhi: As numbers swell, committees to manage crowd, stage, funds and food

This is being done to ensure the protest remains peaceful. They keep watch till evening, following which protesters retire to their tractors.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2020 11:29:23 am
Farmers' protest in Delhi: As numbers swell, committees to manage crowd, stage, funds and foodAt Singhu border near Haryana, Monday. (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

As their numbers swell, farmers at Delhi’s borders have organised themselves into committees for smoother functioning. From crowd management to key deliberations, farmers from more than 30 organisations are working in groups. “Every day, more and more farmers are joining the protest. We have representatives from MP, even Kerala. That’s why we have formed committees among ourselves. Since the first day, we have been saying this is a protest by farmers and we will not let anyone politicise it. We are here to stay and are relying on ourselves to manage it,” said Manjeet Singh, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Doaba).

Among these is a volunteer committee, which manages movement of protesters at the border. Since Saturday, over 10 people have been stationed at the barricades to prevent anyone from moving to the side where police are deployed. This is being done to ensure the protest remains peaceful. They keep watch till evening, following which protesters retire to their tractors.

Another group is the stage volunteer committee, in which 23 persons manage the main stage where public addresses are made. “The committee ensures no political person is allowed on stage. The list of all those addressing is examined and things like time slots are decided as per collective decisions,” said Manjeet.

A three-member cashier committee looks after finances. Since the agitation has so far been self-sustained by farmers, the committee handles donations made by protesters to manage logistics. Farmers have also decided to hold a press conference every day to highlight the day’s discussions. Talks are held between senior farm leaders from various unions, who then address the media.

For food, langars are set up, apart from certain gurdwara organisations in Delhi that have volunteered to provide food.

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