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The two farmers who first reached Singhu border: ‘Changed clothes thrice due to water cannons’

The two farmers are Pawan Singh Dhanoa, 42, and Harbans Singh Khalsa, 42. They are still camping at the Singhu border.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Updated: December 2, 2020 12:38:01 pm
Pawan Singh Dhanoa, left, and Harbans Singh Khalsa at Singhu border.

A five minute video of two Sikh farmers talking to group of cops at Singhu border is going viral. In the clip, there are seen saying that they will cross the Delhi border from this point only, and narrated the struggles they faced on their way in Haryana. They also questioned why Bihar elections were conducted amid the pandemic but farmers are not being allowed to enter the national capital.

The two farmers are Pawan Singh Dhanoa, 42, and Harbans Singh Khalsa, 42. Both are residents of Talwandi Kalan village of Punjab’s Ludhiana district. They were the first ones to reach Singhu border alongwith five other persons on November 26, at around midnight. Khalsa is sarpanch of Talwandi Kalan village. Speaking to The Indian Express, Pawan said: “We are not associated with any union. We are independent farmers and 4-5 more farmers in their own vehicles met us on the way. When we reached Singhu border around midnight, Delhi Police used tear gas on us at that time. We were shocked as we were only 6-7 persons and a huge army of cops was in attacking mode. Tear gas on seven persons…it was surprising. Later I and Khalsa went to talk to the cops where they told us that Covid is going on, so why have we come to Delhi. We asked them why thousands of them were gathering in Covid and why Bihar elections were conducted in Covid. We never wanted to come, the government would have approached us in Punjab, had they been so serious about the pandemic.”

He further said, “If they were so serious about Covid, why were new farm laws introduced in this period?”

Talking about their journey, Pawan said, “I along with Khalsa started from our village and crossed the Shambhu border at around 11.30 am. We got drenched when water cannons were used, we got drenched again at Sonipat, Panipat and Karnal due to which we had to change our clothes every time on the way as it was not advisable to wear wet clothes and continue to drive.”

Khalsa said, “There were upto 20-ft deep pits near Panipat, due to which we went from inner village roads as advised by people in that area as they were ready to help us. People keep offering food, water to us on the way and even asked us to come into their homes to change clothes as we were getting drenched again and again.”

Pawan said, “Throughout the way from Haryana till Delhi, we felt as if we have done some crime — the way governments are treating us — hum bhart ke bashinde hain… Delhi hamari rajdhani hai…do mahine se hum sadkon pe baithe hain…par hamari sunvayi nahi hai…isliye hum Delhi aaye hain…Delhi Chalo ka program October mein announce ho gaya tha…Sarkar chahti to pehle baat bhi kar sakti thi… (we are residents of India and Delhi is our capital, we are sitting on roads for the past 2 months in Punjab but we are not being heard.. that’s why we came to Delhi…Delhi Chalo program had been announced in October itself, if government wanted, they could have done talks ahead of Delhi Chalo program as well.”

Pawan and Khalsa are still camping at the Singhu border.

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