Sit-ins continue as stir against farm laws completes 200 days in Punjab
The farmers and farm labourers continue to stage dharnas at 68 points across Punjab with the farm agitation in the state against the Centre’s three agriculture laws completing 200 days on Sunday.
The protesters, including women and youths, have been staging sit-ins at railway station parking lots, toll plazas and in front of the residences of Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and premises of corporate houses.
Women are participating in large numbers in the protests in the state as men are holding an indefinite protest at the Delhi border under the banner of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 30 farmer unions, and the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) besides being busy in harvesting of wheat back home.
The protests in Punjab are witnessing large gatherings, especially between 12 noon to 3pm.
“The summer has arrived but the Narendra Modi government is still not ready to listen to the farmers’ grievances. We have decided to continue the agitation till the three black laws are repealed,” said Jaspal Kaur (60) of Karamgarh village in Barnala district.
Balwant Singh Upli, a protester in Barnala, said, “The government has failed to dampen the spirits of farmers even after 200 days. We faced bone-chilling winter, rain and storm during the stir. The farmers are ready to face summer at the protest sites. The government wants to get the protest sites vacated in the name of the coronavirus. But the farmers are fighting a battle of survival and are ready to sacrifice their lives”
Narain Dutt, another protester, said the union leaders are holding meetings with farmers at the grain markets during the ongoing procurement to prepare for a massive protest in the second week of May.
BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) Sangrur block chief Gobinder Singh said the farmers have been staging protests at toll plazas and Reliance-owned petrol pumps since October 1. “A large procession of farmers will move to the Delhi border on April 21 via the Khanauri border in Sangrur. We are going to hold a massive rally on April 22 at the Tikri border to oppose the three farm laws,” he added.