This is just ‘rehearsal’ for their proposed January 26 tractor parade, unions say
Amid tight security, thousands of farmers on Thursday started their tractor-march from protest sites — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders — against the three agriculture laws.
Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) chief Joginder Singh Ugrahan said that farmers participated in the march with over 3,500 tractors and trolleys.
‘Thousands of tractors and farm vehicles joined us’
“There were about 300 tractors when we flagged off the march from the Sampla toll gate. But as we joined the KMP [the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal] expressway, there were thousands more, it is no exaggeration to say there were thousands of tractors and farm vehicles joining is on the road,” said AIKS joint secretary Vijoo Krishnan, who took part in the first stage of the march.
“This is a clear warning to the Modi-led BJP government that unless the three Acts and the draft Electricity Bill are withdrawn, the struggle will continue. This is only a rehearsal, nothing in comparison to what will happen on Republic Day. Not only in Delhi, but in every state, in every district of the country, we are preparing for similar tractor parades,” he added.
Haryana farmers affiliated to the Bharatiya Kisan Union faction headed by Gurnam Singh Chaduni are part of the large group moving from Singhu towards Tikri. “There are several kilometres of tractors here with us, I cannot even estimate how many people,” said Rakesh Bains, a BKU-Chaduni spokesperson who is on the road with this group. “We are sending the message that we are preparing like this for January 26. The government should accept this. To our own farming community, we send the message that they should all come out on January 26, for the sake of our country, and in order to raise the issues important to us,” he added.
Co-ordinator for the proposed tractor rally detained
Salamudeen Meo, president, Mewat Vikas Sabha said that Ramzan Chaudhary, the co-ordinator for the proposed tractor rally from Nuh to Palwal on Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway in Haryana, was detained by the Nuh Police and four-five more leaders were put under house arrest on Thursday morning ahead of the rally. He further alleged that the police were not allowing the tractors to assemble on the Gurugram-Alwar Highway to march towards KMP.
The family of Mr. Chaudhary, president of All-India Mewati Samaj, claimed that he was picked up from the home around 8 a.m. and the police did not allow them to meet him.
Narendra Bijarniya, Superintendent of Police, Nuh said that Mr. Chaudhary was called to the police station to seek the details of the route for the rally to prepare the traffic plan. He said the tractor rally was allowed, but there was a need to regulate the traffic since large numbers of heavy commercial vehicles plied on Gurugram Alwar Highway (NH-248A). He denied allegations of house arrests as well.
‘This is just rehearsal’
According to the protesting farm unions, this is just “rehearsal” for their proposed January 26 tractor parade that will be move into the national capital from different parts of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Farmers started the tractor march around 11 am and moved towards Kundli–Manesar–Palwal Expressway amid heavy deployment of Delhi Police and Haryana Police personnel.
The tractor march, led by senior BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, moved towards Palwal.
“In the coming days, we will intensify our agitation against the three farm laws. Around 2,500 tractors from Haryana have participated in today’s march. “We want to warn that if the government doesn’t not accept our demands, farmers’ protest will get intensified further,” Abhimanyu Kohar, a senior member of Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, said.
The tractor march started from four different points — Singhu to Tikri Border, Tikri to Kundli, Ghazipur to Palwal and Rewasan to Palwal.
Braving severe cold and sporadic rains, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and some other parts of the country have been camping at several Delhi border points for over 40 days, demanding repeal of farm laws, a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops and other two issues. The seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers ended inconclusively on Monday as farmer groups stuck to their demand for the repeal of three laws, while the government listed out various benefits of the new acts for the growth of the country’s agriculture sector.