As part of the ongoing farmers’ protest, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) is celebrating February 23 as ‘Pagri Sambhal Diwas'. What was the original movement about? Why does it resonate with farmers today?
Speaking on the occasion, Giani Harpreet Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, criticised the “attitude of Government of India towards Sikhs and asked the government to change its mind towards the minorities”.
The rally has been called to show support for Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana, Nodeep Kaur and other arrested youths who were part of the farmer agitation and "give a message to Union government that youth of Punjab is upbeat and not defeated or disappointed."
KMSC is the only farm union in Punjab that is continuing with its indefinite dharna on railway tracks, while the others ended their rail blockades in Punjab in the last week of November to focus on the Delhi Morcha.
The centenary of Sri Nankana Sahib massacre, which is popularly known as Saka Nankana Sahib, is being marked in an event there on February 21 this year. A look at the event, and its importance in Sikh as well as Indian history.
Addressing a press conference at the SGPC office in Amritsar, Bibi Jagir Kaur added, “There is a huge outcry in the Sikh community over the government’s decision to stop the participation of the jatha in the centenary events of Saka Nankana Sahib.”
A letter from the MHA addressed to SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur read: “This is with respect to a proposal by SGPC to send a special jatha to Pakistan from February 18 to 25, 2021 to attend the 100th anniversary of 'Saka Nankana Sahib'"
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has distributed ration worth Rs 8 lakh to langars currently on at the Singhu, and interestingly, this was the same amount that was spent by SKM on preparation of the kisan parade.
Denying that he had instigated the crowd and claiming that the Nishan Sahib flag was hoisted in a "flow of emotions", Sidhu said: "I had warned that our leaders had taken a decision which is against the youth's sentiments."
For about six hours, from 6 pm to midnight, a group of youths hijacked the stage to oppose the route agreed upon between SKM leaders and Delhi Police. Their protest was webcast live on some Punjabi web channels as well as some individual social media accounts.
The security provided to Punjab BJP secretary Sukhpal Singh Sran, who hails from Bathinda, was doubled soon after he secured bail, inviting sharp reaction from the Dal Khalsa, which said it was like rewarding him for making the hate speech.
The NIA had issued notices to Khalsa Aid, farmer union leader Baldev Singh Sirsa, Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu along with journalists, radio host and mostly Sikh activists in relation with an FIR registered against banned outfit Sikhs For Justice.
The NIA, which is investigating multiple cases against SFJ, registered a fresh case against the proscribed organisation on December 15, 2020. The FIR said SFJ was sending foreign funds through NGOs to “pro-Khalistani” elements for “on-ground campaign and propaganda against Government of India”.