As day of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march approaches, farmers in Punjab and Haryana are egging each other on to stick to their plan even in the face of stiff opposition from the Haryana administration.
While Punjab farmers have reached the state’s borders with Haryana to make arrangements of langar for the jathas that will cross over from these places, farmers in the neighbouring areas of Haryana are reaching out to their counterparts in Punjab to help them with milk supplies, vegetables.
Punjab farmers have set up a morcha on Bathinda road in Sangrur’s Khanauri, just 50 metre away from Haryana border. Across the border in Haryana’s Jind, arrangements are afoot for the protest jatha to make a stopover on way to the Delhi march.
Ruldu Singh, a farmer associated with BKU (Haryana) from Datasinghwala village of state’s Jind district, said, “Villagers from as far as 20 km are reaching out to Punjab farmers at Khanauri border to help them with milk supplies, vegetables. On Tuesday afternoon, langar from Dhamtan Sahib village gurdwara of Haryana was sent at Khanauri for our Punjab farmers. We are helping each other because of Kisan Bhaichara and not that we are from the Punjabi community.”
Rampal Sharma, a farmer from Khanauri and member of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “We are around 500 farmers from Sangrur villages. Our duty is to prepare langar for thousands of farmers who will cross this Khanauri border to enter Haryana on November 26 morning and as they will be here in large numbers, hence we have to make advance arrangements for food. So, we reached this border on Monday night itself and we were overwhelmed when Haryana farmers from nearby villages came to serve us hot milk, though we never asked for it.”
Haryana farmers said that they will be helping Punjab farmers at all the 10 border entry points from where jathas will enter Haryana.
Farmers of villages Pandoli, Garhi, Maseeta, Desu Jodha, Nanakpura and many other villages of Dabwali, Jind, Ratia are all out to help Punjab farmers apart from making their own arrangements for ‘Dilli Chalo ‘ march.
Talking about help being extended by Haryana farmers, Jaswant Singh Tolawala, Block President (Sunam unit) of BKU (Ugrahan) said, “We have collected dry ration from all the villages of Sangrur and we have stock of over 3 months ration with us. Still Haryana farmers are coming to help us. They are coming to show their support to us as farmers, langar is just a reason to visit. No matter, how many borders get sealed by governments, but the kisan will stay united. These farm acts have united the farmers like anything. This had never happened before.”
Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Mahasabha’s Haryana president Prem Singh Gehlot said that despite arrests of farmer leaders by Haryana Police, the support to Punjab farmers will not end.
He added: “On Monday night, three farmers who were making arrangements of morchas on Dabwali-Sirsa road for jathas to cross over into Haryana were rounded up by Haryana Police. These included SP Singh of Maseeta village of Haryana, Gurprem Singh of Desu Jodha border village of Haryana and many others have also been rounded up, but despite that we all farmers are together…our PM has united us in one community and that is ‘farmers’ . Haryana has BJP Sarkar not a farmers’ sarkar. Hence, we are here to help Punjab farmers at borders and at the same time, we also have to march ahead towards Delhi. As all have one common mission ‘Delhi Chalo’.”
Kulwant Rai Sharma, a farmer member of BKU (Ugrahan) from Rai Ke Kalan village of Bathinda sitting close to Haryana border in Bathinda district, said, “We have set up our tent near Dabwali district. I can see Haryana cops’ nakas ahead. But still we are sitting here. We are here as farmers have to pass through this path to reach Delhi.”
Dharampal Singh, from Jadian village of Bathinda, added, “Let Haryana government do whatever they want, but our farmer brothers and sisters are with us. This is an issue not only for Punjab, but for Haryana, and the whole country.”
Anmol Singh, another farmer from Haryana’s border village, said, “Our farmer leaders are being arrested, but still people will come in large numbers on roads. Can they arrest the whole village?”
Talking about the plan to crossover into Haryana, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “From Khanauri side, 2,400 trolleys will cross Punjab border to enter Haryana, while 960 total buses have been arranged by us to enter from different borders. There are 15 water cantors, 22 vehicles just to take care of road traffic movement, generator, clothes , beddings etc all will be taken along. You never know, we might have to spend the whole winter on roads. We are ready to do so.”