Updated: January 29, 2021 9:08:56 am
A DAY after more than 40 farmer union leaders were booked by Delhi Police for the violence during the Republic Day tractor parade, most of them said that they had no role in events that unfolded in national capital and rather were moving as per the route plan finalised with the Delhi Police.
They said they will be fighting the FIRs legally and will reply to the notices sent by Delhi Police. At the same time, they said, the struggle will continue as normal.
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, the president of BKU (Dakaunda) said, “They have sent legal notices to few of the union members including Dr Darshan Pal, and Balbir Singh Rajewal. We will reply to these notices and will fight our cases legally. In addition, we will demand quashing of FIRs from the government as they have implicated all the union members even though we followed the fixed route plan for parade as given by Delhi Police”.
He added, “As of now lookout notices have been sent to the Punjab government. Let’s see if they issue arrest warrants too. We will stay at the Morcha only and will continue our struggle for repealing the three laws”.
Prem Singh Bhangu, president of All India Kisan Federation (Punjab), said, “People are confused as all union leaders have been named in FIRs. What if all of them are arrested? However, we are here only with them. FIRs are part and parcel of struggles. We will tackle every action legally.”
Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU (Ugrahan), said “We have not taken any legal opinion about the FIRs and the lookout notice. FIRs are part and parcel of any struggle. We strictly followed the route given to us by the police. Over 200 have been detained…Tractors of many farmers are missing. Police need to give details about everything”.
Asked whether they are ready for talks with the government, he said, “Our demand remains the same. We are ready to go for talks with the same demands”.
However, he added, that communal forces need to be identified and rooted out from the dharnas. “On Wednesday, about 10-12 persons with flags of Sikh religious symbols had reached our dharna with a challenge to overtake the stage. We took them to task and did not allow peace to be disturbed. They were the same people who instigated people to go towards Red Fort. Such forces need to be identified and the focus should be on continuing the fight for our demands,” Ugrahan said.
Harmeet Singh Kadian, president, BKU (Kadian) said, “Videos show who all were at Red Fort and who went to Ring Road. Police should book those who violated the norms. We will be writing to the government to quash the FIRs”.
However, he said, the unions are open for talks with the government “but we stick to our demand of repeal of farm laws”.
Talking about protesters asking farmers to vacate the Singhu border, he said, “These are BJP-RSS persons. They are doing this on their party’s directions”.
Prem Kumar Gehlot, president of All India Kisan Maha Sabha (Haryana), said, “We were aware that we will be involved in the FIRs. They have named almost all the farmers’ representatives who used to go for meetings at Vigyan Bhawan. We have no role in this episode. It is the government’s pressure tactics”.
He too added that “handful of people are being sent by the government to protest against farmers, they are BJP’s men”.
Buta Singh Burjgill, president of BKU (Dakaunda) said, “Our focus is to tell the masses about the deep conspiracy of the government. Who will gain after the violence at Red Fort? I was at the Singhu border. I did not attend the tractor march, yet I have been booked”.
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee said, “We appeal to the government to quash the cases against all leaders. To lodge protest against repression by Delhi Police, we have given a call to burn effigies of the Modi government in each and every village of Punjab from February 1-3. Moreover, a convoy of over 1000 vehicles will be reaching Singhu border on February 5 from Malwa and Doaba regions”.
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