Farmers Union threatens to intensify protests if demands not met
Farmers Union: Farmers who have been protesting at Delhi borders for over a month, have warned the central government that the protest was only going to grow intense in case the government didn’t accept their demands. The JAMHOORI Kisan Sabha (JKS), operating in Punjab villages, in Majha region, said that despite cold and reduction in number of people at the border, the protest was not losing its fire.
JKS leader Rattan Singh Randhawa said, “Initially we would pack tractor trolleys with ration before leaving for Delhi. But now we are only sending men and women, warm clothes and blankets. Our only concern is the cold. Otherwise, there is no dearth of anything at Delhi borders.”
In order to keep up the momentum, Unions said that they were keeping the protest spirits high in their home state, Punjab. On Friday, JKS carried out a rally in Amritsar. “It is our New Year resolution that we will intensify the protest and won’t stop until victory is archived…We have received calls that there was no need to send ration with new protesters. So we are only sending men and women now. We will send around 20 more trolleys on Saturday,” said Randhawa.
JKS leader added that contrary to the government’s hope that demonstration would die out due to drop in temperature the agitation was picking up pace, and getting more support. He said, “Every day we see more enthusiastic people from all walks of lives extending help to protesters. Some unknown donors have gifted us around Rs 50,000 so that we can buy fuel. We already have Rs 2.50 lakh collected separately from our cadre and reserved for buying fuel. There are some villages of Rai Sikh community in Anjala sub-division which are poor and can’t afford to spend Rs 15,000 on fuel for a two-way journey on tractor trolley to Delhi. So we are funding such villages so they can so participate.”
All hopes of resolution between both the sides depend on the next round of talks, scheduled for January 4. Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders informed the media said that in the next move, farmers were planning to shut down malls and petrol pumps in Haryana, hold a tractor rally on the Kundli-Manesar highway, and carry out a rally further towards Delhi on the highway from Jaipur unless their demands were accepted.
Farmers have asked for complete roll back of the three farm laws passed in September 2020. The three agricultural laws included – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation), Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
“The government seems to be taking the farmers protest lightly. In Shaheen Bagh, they were able to disperse the protestors, so they think they can do the same thing with us. But that will not happen,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union-Tikait group general secretary Yudhvir Singh. “If the government does not take a decision on January 4, then the farmers will have to take a decision,” he added.
In a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee said that he should “give up the stubborn stand”. She said, “It is not a crime to accept any wrong decision and then withdraw it. Today when the cold wave is at its peak, the annadaata (farmers) of the country are sitting on the streets of Delhi fighting for their rights. The government should address this issue on priority”.