For Republic Day, all roads lead to Delhi

Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 25

Cavalcades of tractors today clogged the roads leading to Delhi as thousands of farmers protesting against the farm laws headed towards the national capital for the proposed tractor parade on Republic Day.

Balwant Singh, a farmer

‘Will stay there after the parade’

After the R-Day parade, we all are prepared to protest at New Delhi for months. We do not have any other option as the central government is unwilling to repeal the black laws.

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Punjabi songs like “Waaris Nalue Da”,” Fateh”, “Pecha Pai Gaya Centre Naal” and other inspirational numbers play on tractors as farmers patiently wait to move ahead.

“I have seen many agitations, but it’s the first time that we are witnessing such a massive support. From our villages, majority of farmers are heading to New Delhi to participate in the tractor march,” says Balwinder Singh, a farmer from Maura village.

Farmers protest at the Lehra Bega toll plaza in Bathinda. Pawan Sharma

Despite being aware of the free supply of all essential commodities at Delhi borders to protesters, farmers are still carrying their ration, wood, LPG cylinders and several other items as many plan to stay at borders after the tractor parade.

Earlier tractors and other vehicles going to the capital, had flags with “Kisan Ekta Jindabad”, “No Farmer, No Food”, “End of MSP, will kill farming” written on them, now the Tricolor is also visible along with them.

“Thousands of tractors have already reached Delhi borders and many more are on the way. All are determined to protest peacefully on Republic Day,” says Rajpal Singh, a BKU (Ugrahan) leader from Mangwal village.

In several villages, there are many families which have sent more than two members to participate in the parade. Gurpreet Singh, sarpanch of Kauhrian village, says: “Around 60 per cent men of our village have gone to New Delhi. There are many more villages in our area from where more than 40 to 50 percent residents have gone to Delhi.”

Cops, bureaucrats offer tacit support

Muktsar: Bureaucrats and police officers hailing from the farming families are supporting the tractor parade in Delhi. Some have changed their profile pictures on WhatsApp, while others have uploaded pictures of their children carrying placards supporting the farmers on other social media platforms. An SP-rank police officer (posted in the Malwa region) said, “My daughter has to recite a poem in a competition on Republic Day. So, she decided to recite a poem on farmers because standing up for a cause is also patriotism.” TNS

Bathinda traders protest arhtiyas’ remarks

Bathinda: Tempers ran high at Goniana mandi in Bathinda on Monday when scores of traders from the Aggarwal community carried out a protest march after some arhtiyas from the Jat community allegedly made some objectionable remarks about them. In a video clip that has been circulating on the social media, arhtiyas can be seen asking the traders’ community to come out of the comforts of their homes and support farmers in their agitation against the new farm laws. The Aggarwal community lodged a police complaint and demanded immediate action in the matter. TNS

Tractor rally will be peaceful, says SAD

Chandigarh: SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said he was confident that the tractor parade on Tuesday will be a peaceful event. “The participants in the farmers’ struggle so far have demonstrated an unprecedented discipline. It is remarkable that hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting for over two months now in a peaceful manner, despite provocations and conspiracies against them.” Sukhbir urged the Government of India to ensure that the police and other law-enforcing agencies deal with the march with utmost “sensitivity and patience.” TNS

For Republic Day, all roads lead to Delhi
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