Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab) [India] : Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher on Tuesday said that all efforts were made in the meeting to find a solution to avoid a confrontation with the government adding that they anticipated a positive result.
"We want to present our views before the whole of India that we tried our best in yesterday's meeting to take some kind of decision so that we can avoid confrontation with the government and we get something that we had hoped for. We can only hope and trust. After doing this, we sat in the meeting for 5 hours," Pandher said while addressing media in Punjab's Fatehgarh Sahib.
He alleged that the police are harassing the people in the villages of Haryana and Punjab while expressing concern over the situation in these states.
"We presented the position of Haryana before them that you have turned Haryana into the valley of Kashmir, you are sending police to every village in Haryana. You have sent water cannons to every village of Haryana. Farmers and relatives of every village of Haryana are being harassed," he said.
"It is being said that your son is doing MBBS, they will not let him do it, the kind of degree your son should get. If your brother is working at home, we will fire him from his job and cancel your passport. Then other types of harassment are also more and more, whatever kind we say, it is more and more. See it seems that Punjab and Haryana are not two states from India but an international border, by what we are seeing now," Pandher asserted.
The farmer leader rubbished the claims of Congress party's support to the farmers and labourers adding that the latter is as guilty as the ruling BJP in the plight of the farmers.
"We are the farmers and labourers of the country, whatever is being said in the media, no Congress supports us, we consider Congress as guilty as BJP is guilty. These policies have been brought by Congress, We are not left, CPI, and CPM who ruled Bengal, made 20 mistakes, what kind of revolution came from there in West Bengal, we are not on anyone's side, we are farmers and labourers," Pandher said.
"Those who are going to raise their voice are their men, and then we will appeal to our people, whether they are singers of Punjab or the country or intellectuals, NRI brothers, whether it is another civil society that also includes journalists," he said.
"This is not just our issue, or question, that is definitely in this big movement, it is not just us, this is the demand of 140 crore countrymen," Pandher added. The farmers have put forth 12 demands before the central government for which they're marching to Delhi. The protest this time has been called by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha and Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee led by farmer union leaders Jagjeet Singh Dallewal and Sarwan Singh Pandher.
According to the protesting farmers, the centre promised them better crop prices after which they ended the 2021 protest. They are demanding to enact a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission report. They are also demanding a complete debt waiver and a scheme to provide pensions to farmers and farm labourers.
The farmers have also urged to scrap the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and are demanding to reintroduce the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, ensuring consent from farmers and compensation at 4 times the collector rate.
Further, they are demanding to punish those involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri killings. An appeal to provide 200 days of employment per year and a daily wage of Rs 700 under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) linking it with farming has also been made by the farmers.
Also, a demand to provide compensation to the families of farmers who died during the protests in 2021 and a job for any family member has been put in place.
Meanwhile, to ensure law and order, Delhi police have already enforced Section 144, restricting entry of tractor trolleys and large assemblies.
Visuals from Delhi's Gazipur border, Shambhu border and Tikri border showed barricades and barbed wires erected on the roads blocking entry. Multi-layered barricading has taken place at these borders to restrict the protesting farmers from entering the national capital.
As per the police, a robust force of more than 2000 personnel, including CAPF, Crime Branch staff and battalions, are keeping a vigil to maintain law and order and address any untoward incidents.
Delhi Police has urged residents to cooperate and support to law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order in the city.