On the day Supreme Court put the three farm laws on hold, a large convoy of tractor-trollies left Amritsar for Delhi to participate in a protest parade announced by farmer unions on Republic Day. The convoy left for Delhi Tuesday under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC).
A village in Moga, meanwhile, announced that it will impose a fine on farmers who will not agree to sending their tractors for the parade. Despite SC’s move, announcements continued from village gurdwaras to reach Delhi in maximum numbers with tractors-trollies.
KMSC will send another Jatha to Delhi on January 20. Other farmer unions are also mobilising protesters from the different parts of Punjab.
In fact, KMSC has already started using submissions made by Union government and state governments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in SC to intensify the stir.
“We never had any big hope from the Supreme Court. It is the Union government which can repeal laws. Supreme Court can do little in this issue. We had made it clear that we won’t go to any committee. So any such hope from us was not practical that we would respond to a committee, which has all pro-government members. It seems that government is indirectly trying to use Supreme Court to end the dharna,” said Sawarn Singh Pandher, general secretary, KMSC, which is running dharna at Singhu-Kundli border for the last 49 days.
He added, “But the court proceedings show what government thinks of farmers. The submissions made by government in court against farmers have further strengthened the thought among farmers that it is a do or die battle. Farmers are angry as government has made public what it thinks of farmers. But it doesn’t mean that farmers would resort to violence. It has just made farmers more enthusiastic for the tractors march on January 26.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi should resign for failing to handle the farmers’ movement properly and apologise to the farmers of the country as the Supreme Court has made harsh remarks against the Union government during the hearing. We demand immediate cancellation of the cases registered by the BJP government in Haryana against 71 farmer leaders, including Gurnam Singh Chaduni and 900 farmers and issued a stern warning to the Union government,” said Pandher.
He added, “Preparations for the January 26 tractor parade are in full swing in various villages of Punjab and the country. Central government would be responsible for any possible confrontation as the farmers’ movement had been going on peacefully from day one and would continue to be peaceful.”
Village to fine farmers for refusing to send tractors
A panchayat of village Rauke Kalan in Moga has announced imposing a fine on any farmer who would say no to sending tractors trollies to Delhi for the January 26 parade.
Gurnishan Singh, farmer leader from the village, said, “Our aim is to send at least 80 tractors and trollies to Delhi for Republic Day parade. No one would say no to sending their tractors. But we have imposed fine of Rs 1,200 on anyone, who would refuse to send tractors. It is just to make it clear that we are very serious to make January 26 parade a success. We have collected Rs 100 per acre from farmers. We are expecting that diesel of Rs 8 lakh would be consumed in sending eight Tractors to Delhi.”