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Shunned after R-Day violence, KMSC finds support from other unions after Singhu clash

On Saturday, a convoy of about 45 vehicles of BKU (Ugrahan) started from Tikri border for Singhu border to join KMSC dharna in solidarity after Friday’s clash between KMSC supporters and locals over vacating the protest site.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
January 31, 2021 5:06:23 am
Singhu farmers protest, farmers protests in delhi, Rakesh Tikait, khap panchayats, Haryana, Singhu, Farmers protests, india news, indian expressFarmers at Singhu border. (Express File Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Although all farmer unions of Punjab had directly blamed Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC) for taking a separate route for tractor parade on January 26, but Friday’s clash at the Singhu dharna site has seen unions trying to sink their differences in public even as ideological differences remain intact. On Saturday, a convoy of about 45 vehicles of BKU (Ugrahan) started from Tikri border for Singhu border to join KMSC dharna in solidarity after Friday’s clash between KMSC supporters and locals over vacating the protest site.

Distance from Tikri to Singhu is about 40-km, but this convoy was stopped at Nangloi, after which dharna started at this spot by Ugrahan members.

Apart from this, hundreds of vehicles have also started from Moga, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Amritsar and Jalandhar to be part of the dharna of KMSC at Singhu-Kundli border site.

Sarwan Pandher, general secretary of KMSC, said, “Many vehicles from Punjab are on their way to join our dharna site after yesterday’s protest incidents in which clashes had also taken place.”

Shingara Singh Mann, vice president of BKU (Ugrahan) who had sent the jatha from Tikri to Singhu, said, ‘’Though the union leaders of KMSC had made a mistake by not following the route given by Delhi Police for tractor parade on January 26 due to which anti-social elements had entered inside the parade and Red Fort incident had happened, but that does not mean that we should not stand by all the farmers of that dharna site if someone comes to attack them. We have ideological differences with the leaders of KMSC but we will not allow any protesters to come and attack farmers as part of the conspiracy. So, our jatha had started from Pakora Chowk on Saturday afternoon but cops stopped them near Nangloi and did not allow them to move ahead and hence around 500 persons in 45 vehicles decided to start their dharna at Nangloi itself.”

Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) had outrightly disassociated themselves from KMSC after the January 26 episode. Balbir Singh Rajewal, president BKU (Rajewal) and part of SKM had even stated that “traitors have been exposed”.

After Friday’s clashes at KMSC dharna site, Rajewal had even stated that they have no connection with KMSC. To which Sarwan Pandher even went to social media to mention, “Our big brother Rajewal is calling us traitors without any evidence but his false statements became an excuse for the Modi government to attack us on Friday. However, we have not been attacked for the first time. Still we are in Chardi Kalan (high spirits).”

However late on Friday evening, in the press conference of 32 farmer unions of Punjab, the unions had condemned violence which took place at Singhu border (near KMSC dharna site) and stated that government’s agents were doing it repeatedly.

“After Ghazipur, they tried to do the same at Singhu as well,” said Prem Singh Bhangu, president of All India Kisan Federation, Punjab unit.

Bhanghu while talking to The Indian Express said, ‘’Though we condemn attacks on anyone, however when it comes to KMSC dharna site, our persons will not go to that site if anything happens. As it can cause chaos. We will take care of our pandal and dharna site and they should take care of theirs. We have differences with them over ideas and even after January 26 episode we even explained our differences in public as well. However, we have decided not to name anyone from here on and we strongly condemn such violent incidents against farmers.”

Ruldu Singh, president of Punjab Kisan Union added, “We have differences with two union leaders of KMSC. However farmers are protesting for a cause which is to demand repeal of farm laws and seek MSP of crops. Hence, we stand by each and every farmer who is protesting at any of the dharna sites. We are dead against any violent incidents where goons of BJP are sent to protest at sites.”

He added, “Our differences should not come out in public so that opponents take advantage. Though it is a fact that KMSC has always walked alone in Punjab since the start of protests against farm ordinances.”

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