The emotive pull of tears of UP farm leader Rakesh Tikait is being felt in the villages of Punjab too. The fear and confusion over the protest ending abruptly that had gripped the state’s villages in the aftermath of the Republic Day violence has now been replaced by a renewed vigour to join the stir. Several village-level committees are now sending large number of people, not just farmers, to support the movement.
These committees are now also assigning duties to villagers related to the staying at protest sites, taking water, milk, food for the protestors there.
In several villages, people said that they were moved by the video of farm leader Rakesh Tikait getting emotional over how farmers were being branded as terrorists. They added that several farm leaders in Punjab needed to learn from Tikait’s dedication.
Meanwhile, around 150 vehicles proceeded to Delhi Saturday from Phagwara under the leadership Kirpal Singh of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) Doaba, while large numbers of youth accompanied the BKU (Rajewal) leaders.
Harpreet Pal Singh Dimple, Sarpanch of Rahimpur village in block Nakodar in Jalandhar said that they have formed a 7-member village- level committee.
“We have a population of around 1,800 people and every household will send one person each to the protest site and we have decided to send 40-50 persons every week who will be replaced with the new group,” he said, adding that now zeal to go to Delhi has increased manifold ever since the government used force on the protestors at Singhu and Gazipur borders.
Happy Sandhu, president of the Truck Union Punjab, said that now people have realised that it is not the time to get demoralised but to fight for the truth. He said that they are also taking a large number of people to the borders in their vehicles and supplying ration.
Bibi Surjit Kaur from Udhowal village said that earlier they had decided to return from Delhi after the R-Day incident but now they have realised that it was not their fault if some anti-social elements created a scene.
“In our village-level meeting we have decided to stay put at Singhu as long as the dharna will continue,” she said, adding that people of all walks of life are once again contributing as per their abilities in the village.
“Around 50 villages in our area have formed such village committees to send support to Delhi protestors and have taken pledge to win this battle in peaceful manner,” said Tarsem Peter, president, Punjab Pendu Mazdoor Union (PMU).
He said that after the R-Day incident there was a lot of fear among the people that now they will not only lose this battle, but also their image. That fear, he added, has withered away.
Devinder Singh Umarpur of village Umarpur said that they have also conducted meetings in their village and prepared the strategy for regular support to Delhi dharna till the time it will continue.
Sarpanch Gurpreet Singh of village Meerpur said that they have also held a meeting in which villagers have been asked to go to Delhi turn-wise in big number, expense for which will be borne by the village.
A visit to the several villages revealed that people held a view that the R-Day incident was “planned” by the government agencies.
“When a simple appeal of Tikait can bring thousands of farmers from UP to Delhi’s Ghazipur border, which was declared illegal by police, how can we be behind when 32 organisations of Punjab are sitting there at the border,” said Buta Singh of village Shadipur in Jalandhar.
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