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Monday, January 18, 2021

Punjab: Highway langars ensure no farmer on way to Delhi goes hungry

Banners with slogans like ‘Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Zindabaad’, ‘No Farmer No Food’, and flags of various farmer unions fluttered all the way till the Delhi border.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | December 10, 2020 10:31:08 am
Tractor -trolley from Hoshairpur is on way to Delhi. A stop at Doraha for tea break. (Express photo by Raakhi Jagga)

The call for ‘Delhi Chalo’ may have been given by farmer unions for November 26-27, the movement alive and kicking even now. On Wednesday, the NH-1 from Ludhiana till the Shambhu border was lined with tractor-trolleys, cars, mini tempos and even trucks.

Banners with slogans like ‘Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Zindabaad’, ‘No Farmer No Food’, and flags of various farmer unions fluttered all the way till the Delhi border.

In Doraha Nagar Council area, a bread pakora and tea langar was organised on the roadside where tractor-trolleys and cars carrying black flags with the ‘Rosh’ written on them stopped. Protesters arrived to take a break, eating crispy pakoras and drinking steaming cups of tea. This langar was organised by supporters of Lok Insaaf Party MLA Simarjit Singh Bains as his pictures could be seen on the banners of ‘Langar Sewa’ along with a few others.

A stall providing basic medicines was also set up at the same site where residents of Doraha were making and serving langar. Bittu Singh’s tractor-trolley stopped in the afternoon and nearly 20 persons got down to have a tea break. They had come from Manna village of Hoshiarpur, the banner of trolley also mentioned Kalgidhar Sports Club. Buta Singh had also fixed another banner over his trolley which depicted a police officer using force on an old farmer.

Around 40 km beyond this point, there is another langar of tea/bread pakora, medicines and mineral water organised by Fatehgarh Sahib Taxi Union, Universal Welfare Association and area residents of Fatehgarh Sahib.

“Langars continue 24×7 as trolleys keep on passing. A number of people are coming back and others are replacing them,” said Avtar Singh, a resident of Jatana village of Doraha.

Near Rajpura, outside a petrol pump of a corporate house, the langar spread has endless variety — freshly baked wheat flour biscuits, cold sandwiches, bread butter, tea, mineral water was available at a counter while a trolley from a local gurdwara was handing out dal-roti and pickle as well. A team of Desi Guru, a music company, was there to serve langar while protest songs of Kanwar Grewal ‘Pecha’ played in the background. Songs targeting Kangana Ranaut were also being played.

Gurdeep Singh, a resident of the village, said, “I am going to Delhi. We are determined to get these black laws scrapped or they can do whatever they want with us. Our families too know our determination.”

Neeta Singh, who was having dal-roti langar, said, “All the way on this highway, people have organised langars. Once we cross the Shambhu border, Haryana people will keep on welcoming us with tea, pakore, kheer, meethe chawal, dal-roti, and what not. Prime Minister should hear the voice of people and repeal the laws. We will not come back after getting the laws scrapped.”

Jaspreet Singh from Seora village said, “I had gone earlier on November 26 when Haryana was creating hurdles, and came back on December 5 to take care of fields and do some other work. Now I am going again.”

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