New Delhi, Nov 28 : Even as thousands of farmers continued to rally at the Tikri and Singhu interstate border on Saturday and were adamant on moving to Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar to protest, leaders of more than 30 big farm organisations were busy chalking their strategy for future course of action.
While farmers at Singhu and Tikri borders continued to raise slogans and listened to speeches of their leaders while policemen looked on, the farmer leaders said they had called on farmer protesters from various places to rally in large numbers at Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh so as to build pressure on the central government to revoke the contentious farm laws.
Unlike Friday, the situation was peaceful at both Singhu and Tikri border points on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway and Delhi-Bahadurgarh route respectively.
However, Delhi Police were put on alert in the wake of inputs that farmers from Uttar Pradesh would also try to enter the national capital on Saturday from the Ghazipur entry-exit point. At the time of filing of this report, farmers from Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Bharatiya Kishan Union’s (BKU) Rakesh Tikait were rallying at Ghazipur to enter Delhi amid heavy police presence.
They also did not try to get in touch with government authorities through any social media platform or even announce any further course of action for the benfit of farmers who were awaiting instructions from them at Singhu and Tikri borders.
As a few hundred farmers roamed around in Delhi after reaching here from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh and tried to move towards Ramlila Ground, they were taken to the Nirankari Samagam ground in north-west Delhi’s Burari on the city outskirts, where over 1 lakh people can assemble at any given time.
Haryana BKU President Gurnam Singh Chaduni told IANS that that farmers’ agitation was not limited to Punjab and Haryana only. “Farmers from all over the country are involved in this agitation as it is a fight for their benefit.”
“More than 30 farmer organisations from Punjab and Haryana are engaged in a meeting to decide our future strategy. Punjab’s farmers will decide the future course of action after the meeting. All farmer leaders from across the country will also meet later and take decisions collectively if the Centre does not roll back the three farm laws.”
Farmers owing allegiance to the Kisan Ekta group, who were protesting at the Tikri border, asserted that they would sit in protest for six months till their demands were not met.
“We have made arrangements for food and other things for the next six months. We can easily sit here in protest for months if our demands are not met,” said the group of farmers who had come from Fatehabad in Haryana.
Meanwhile, members of the largest of the 31 farm organisations in Punjab set out for Delhi on Saturday in a cavalcade that stretched for 40 km from Haryana’s Jind, where they had made a night halt under the open skies.
Riding in hundreds of tractor-trailers, buses, cars and even motorcycles, these farmers from the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) were expected to reach the Delhi border by Saturday evening or late night.
As per police estimates, the number of protesters from the Left-leaning BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) could be between 1.5 lakh and 2 lakh, including a sizeable number of youngsters and women.
The BKU protesters are largely from Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda and Barnala districts of Punjab.
Simultaneously, hundreds of farmers belonging to the Kisan Sangharsh Committee started their journey from Amritsar city towards Delhi via Haryana. They are likely to reach Delhi border later in the day.
After braving tear-gas shells and water cannons on Friday, the BKU protesters started their journey after breaching massive blockades comprising huge boulders, barbed fences, and soil-laden trucks on the Bathinda-Dabwali road to enter Haryana.
Kisan Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said farmers from Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Batala and Gurdaspur districts were also headed for Delhi.