Farmers on Wednesday marched in large numbers from three Punjab borders towards Delhi’s Tikri border despite Covid curbs being in situ .
Claiming that the farmers were fighting both against Covid-19 and therefore the government, farmer leaders said they understood their responsibility during the pandemic, but had no choice but to protest. They appealed to all or any attending dharnas to urge vaccinated. Farmers also reiterated that the dharnas weren’t causing any obstruction to emergency services.
Shingara Singh Mann, president of BKU (Ugrahan)’s Bathinda unit and also vice chairman of the union, led a convoy from Bathinda-Dabwali road along side thousands of farmers.He said, “I am 61 years old and that i have gotten myself vaccinated. My second dose is due within the second week of May. little question corona may be a disease, but not as deadly as being projected. However, our union’s entire state committee possesses the primary jab and that we are going to be getting the second dose next month. Our president had tested positive for Covid last month and that we do understand our responsibilities.”The farmer leader added: “If the Haryana government will organise any vaccination camp in Bahadurgarh area, we’ll appeal to our members to urge themselves vaccinated. the govt put us all in danger after passing farm laws in September. rather than managing Covid, they forced us to return out on roads. Otherwise, villagers were busy giving thikri pehras in villages to urge lockdown implemented.”
Jagseer Singh, district member of BKU (Ugrahan) from Bathinda, said, “I have also got the primary jab and actually many us have gotten the primary dose. it’s up to an individual on whether to urge themselves vaccinated or not. However, we do appeal to people coming to dharna because the govt has forced us to take a seat on roads. So, we should always get ourselves vaccinated a minimum of as we cannot avoid dharnas till our demands are met.”
So far, first dose of the vaccine has been administered to Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan), Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of the union, Roop Singh Chhana, union’ vice chairman and Jhanda Singh Jethuke, the union’s senior vice chairman aside from a couple of other state committee members.
On Wednesday, Ugrahan led farmers on the Khanauri-Jind highway.
‘Op Shakti to courter eviction plans’
Kokrikalan said, ”As a solution to the Union government’s plans of ‘Operation Clean Up’, we organised ‘Operation Shakti’ and went in large numbers to Tikri despite the very fact that farmers are busy with harvesting lately . In Punjab, our pakka dharnas are happening at 40 different places. We face problems in procurement of wheat also in Punjab but still, our batches will still attend Delhi borders.”Reacting to some allegations that farmers’ dharnas were obstructing transportation of oxygen cylinders, Dr Darshan Pal, coordinator of Samyukta Kisan Morcha said, “The BJP IT cell is consistently campaigning that the farmers’ dharnas are obstructing the fight against corona. Some propaganda is being spread that farmers have stopped trucks of oxygen and other essentials on the borders of Delhi. Farmers also are being accused of spreading corona. SKM condemns and opposes of these false narratives. Farmers haven’t intended to sleep on the streets and stand back from their homes and land. the govt has inhumanly imposed these laws on the farmers. The farmers aren’t posing for anything new, they’re only fighting to save lots of what they need . during this battle of existence, they’re fighting against both corona and therefore the government.”He added,” the govt is deed from its responsibilities at the time of the corona pandemic but is ironically choosing responsible farmers. In fact, on humanitarian grounds, farmers are quite willing to help locals et al. despite the intense hardships that they find themselves in during the continued protests. Protesting farmers had kept service roads open for essential services right from the time that they had to squat at the borders. The barricades put up by the police are the most important obstacle to free vehicular movement. We appeal to the govt to get rid of the obstacles that they need put up to lock in Delhi, in order that ordinary citizens don’t face difficulties and emergency medical services can run as normal.”