The Events at the Ghazipur border, where authorities gave an ultimatum to farmers to end their dharna, had a ripple effect in Haryana and Punjab where an impromptu campaign began late in the evening to send more protesters and tractors to the dharna sites as back up.
In Punjab, announcements began in several villages once again to send one person per house to Delhi to keep people at the protest sites charged up. Apart from all 32 farmer unions of Punjab passing on this message in the state, even people sitting on dharna at Singhu and Tikri borders started calling up their relatives and friends asking them “not to break the chain”.
Soon after the news of moves being made to remove protesters from Ghazipur border spread in Haryana, farmers came out from their homes late in the evening to protest on the roads in several villages.
The Jind-Chandigarh National Highway near Kandela village of Jind district was blocked at 10 pm Thursday.
Not only this, several farmer groups moved to Delhi borders from their villages especially from districts like Jind, Hisar, Charkhi Dadri, Rohtak and Bhiwani around midnight to join protesters.
According to farmers, a video clipping of farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in which he appeared crying made them emotional.
“Farmers are angry over the way their voice is being suppressed,” said Rajesh Kungar, a local farmer leader, who was present in a meeting held in the night in his native village Kungar of Bhiwani district.
“Rumours are being spread regarding the incident of Delhi’s Red Fort to weaken the farmer agitation. But farmers know this agenda of falsehood. From our village, 50 tractors have moved to Delhi in the night itself. A large number of farmers from our village and neighbouring villages will move to Delhi Friday morning,” Kunger told The Indian Express. After a similar meeting in Pabra village of Hisar district, a villager, Mandeep Kundu, said that some tractors will move to Delhi from their village Friday morning.
Till midnight, meetings were being held in several villages of Haryana to discuss the latest developments.
The farmers have also planned increasing their presence at the toll plazas on highways from Friday with the Haryana government planning to operationalise toll collection system soon.
Meanwhile, khap panchayats of Haryana will hold meetings on Friday and Saturday to chalk out their next strategy. The khaps have actively participated in the current farmer agitation launched against three controversial farm laws.
While farmer unions in Punjab said that the movement of protesters from Punjab to Delhi protest sites was down to a trickle after the January 26 episode, they pointed out that the Ghazipur police build up had reenergised the ranks once again.
Prem Singh Bhangu, president of All India Kisan Federation, Punjab, said, “After January 26 episode, strength of people was huge at Tikri as well as Singhu borders but movement of people from Punjab to Delhi borders was very less. However on Thursday, as police started repression on people at Ghazipur and Palwal, a message started spreading to add more numbers at Singhu and Tikri. People started calling up their relatives saying that chain of people coming to borders should not break. One person per house on rotation basis should keep on coming to borders as before.”
Amandeep Kaur, president of Istri Jagriti Manch, Punjab, said: “Already people from Haryana have started moving towards Singhu. Meetings of their Khap panchayats have started. Haryana-Punjab brotherhood will add numbers at borders.”
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