Updated: January 31, 2021 7:53:34 am
After seemingly going on the backfoot following the violence on Republic Day during the tractor rally in Delhi, farmers’ unions of Punjab are now witnessing a renewed vigour, with many village-level committees sending a large number of people – and not just farmers – to support the movement against the new agricultural laws.
In several villages, people said they were moved by the video of farm leader Rakesh Tikait getting emotional over how farmers were being branded as terrorists. They said several farm leaders in Punjab needed to learn from Tikait’s dedication.
Around 150 vehicles proceeded towards Delhi on Saturday from Phagwara under the leadership Kirpal Singh of Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Doaba, while a large number of youths accompanied the BKU (Rajewal) leaders.
Meanwhile, to shore up the dwindling numbers at protest sites, several panchayats in Punjab have started passing resolutions asking people to send one person from each village home to the dharnas on the borders of Delhi.
Virk Khurd village panchayat in district Bathinda passed a resolution on January 27 mandating that one villager from each household will go to the Delhi borders and stay there for at least one week. The resolution said that those not complying with the decision will be fined Rs 1,500 and if a person refuses to pay the fine, the village will boycott that person.
The resolution also stated that if any villager’s vehicle gets damaged during the Delhi morcha then panchayat will bear expenses for its repair. With signatures of over 1,700 voters, the resolution carries the signatures of the sarpanch – Manjeet Kaur.
Gurpreet Singh, one of those who signed the resolution, said: “Though we are regularly going to the borders (of Delhi) since November 26, this fresh announcement has been done to beat the rumours that after Republic Day episode morcha is about to end and people have started coming back.”
In another resolution passed by Nangal Kalan village of Mansa, it has been stated that one villager from each house will go to Delhi morcha for minimum seven days and the ones who cannot go will give Rs 1,500 that can be contributed to the ongoing struggle.
“This fund can be used for fuel expenses or even for repair of tractors going to Delhi,” said Nazam Singh, one of the villagers.
Addressing the media in Chandigarh on Saturday, BKU president Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “It (protest) was hit for a day-and-a-half. Now farmers are again rushing to Delhi borders to protest. We are thankful to Tikait-sahib. We will invite him to Punjab and honour him.”
He also appealed farmers to ensure that the agitation remained peaceful.
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