Updated: January 30, 2021 4:39:14 am
Farmer leaders protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws have called for a hunger strike from 9 am to 5 pm on January 30. “The Samyukta Kisan Morcha is overwhelmed by the love of the farmers reaching the Ghazipur border… A fast will be observed from 9am to 5pm at borders and protest sites across India tomorrow, on the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi ji, and the day will be marked as ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’,” said Darshan Pal, a farmer leader.
With people claiming to be locals turning up at Singhu and Tikri protest sites and on Friday pelting stones at farmers, farm union leaders said locals have no issues with the protesters, and claimed these anti-farmer protests were being orchestrated by the BJP. They said that areas in the vicinity are in fact sending food to protest sites and also offering other amenities.
Said Buta Singh Burjgill, the president of BKU Dakaunda, “These are people sent by the BJP. First they went to Ghazipur and saw the reaction. Now they have started protests towards Singhu and Tikri borders as well. They want to create fear in the minds of people sitting at the dharna. But it is having the opposite effect — people are coming in higher numbers. We don’t fear repression. Nearby areas in Haryana have no issues with us and all of a sudden locals are unhappy? We are not fools that we can’t see who is behind this conspiracy.”
Kulwant Singh Kishanganj, vice-president of BKU Dakaunda, said some people had arrived at Tikri border too and raised slogans of khali karo khali karo. “Incidentally, the panchayat of Tikri village came and they extended support to us.”
Friday’s violence took place near the dharna site of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) at Singhu border. Its general secretary, Sarwan Singh Pandher, said, “Goons of the BJP came near our dharna site for the third consecutive day. They even did stone pelting today. Police want to create a Ghazipur-like condition here as well, but our men will keep restraint.”
Harinder Kaur Bindu, vice-president of BKU Ugrahan, said, “Protesters came near our dharna site in Tikri, but we didn’t respond. They told us to vacate the dharna site, but we will remain here till our demands are met. Panchayats of nearby villages — Nayagaon, Balaur, Bahadurgarh — are having no issues with us and are even letting our women volunteers rest there at night.”
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