Fourteen different organisations came together Sunday to organise the biggest anti-CAA protest in Punjab so far. Thousands of women, many of them in burqas, walked the streets of Malerkotla towards the grain market as part of the protest.
On Sunday, several vehicles entered the small town’s grain market as people came from across the state. Many arrived by train too and were seen walking to the grain market from the railway station raising slogans. Others walked to the same destination from the bus stand carrying banners, union flags and raising ‘azadi’ slogans.
Before speeches began at the grain market, plays were organised for the audience. Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) was the main union behind this rally, while delegations from Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi and others also participated.
“A protest week will be observed in Punjab from February 24 to 29 to continue this campaign and counter spread of communal hate in the government by the Modi government,” said Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of BKU(Ugrahan).
He added,”The gathering unanimously pledged that they will not allow the BJP government at the Centre to divide the country on religious lines.”
Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU (Ugrahan) alleged that “BJP was treacherously misleading the people of the country by allowing the big corporations to loot freely the water, forest, land and other rich natural resources in the name of patriotism”.
Two indefinite dharnas are already on in Punjab at Ludhiana and Mansa districts. A Joint Action Committee is protesting in Malerkotla since January 7. But this rally was organised by kisan unions and JAC had no major role it. “This was apolitical gathering in which people from all religions participated and hence indicated that people in Punjab are also gearing up against Modi government,” said Kokri Kalan. Other participating units in this rally were BKU (Dakaunda), Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Punjab Student Union (Randhawa), Kirti Kisan Union, Textile Mazdoor Union, Moulder and Steel Union, among others.
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