Roadblock, Parliament gherao on cards as farmers bid to step up stir

Farmers continue their protest against the new farm laws at the Singhu border in Delhi on Monday.  

While the protest at the Singhu border is going strong and the crowd has remained steady, talks are being held on how to take movement forward, said stage management committee members on Monday.

A roadblock is being planned, said a member of the stage management committee and District Pradhan of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Kadian), Amrik Singh.

Meetings lined up

“A meeting of Samyukt Kisan Morcha leaders was held on Sunday and another is expected to take place on Tuesday to talk about how to take the protest forward. A roadblock is being planned in the coming days to shake the government out of its slumber for us,” he said, adding that another possibility is Parliament gherao.

“If the government doesn’t move forward, then parliament gherao can also be considered. A repeat of January 26 can be called in terms of crowd and not violence. Probably, if planned, the march will be on foot,” he said.

Another member said donations have gone down to less than ₹1 lakh a day.

“On most days, it’s around ₹70,000-₹80,000. Very rarely it reaches ₹2 lakh. Before Republic Day, we used to get ₹5-₹7 lakh, which further came down to ₹1-₹2 lakh,” he said.

He also said if they fall short of money, farmer leaders will arrange funds by themselves to keep the protest going.

A major part of expenses is spent on medical bills of protesters, he said. “If any farmer has a major health problem at any of the three borders, the cost is borne by us,” he said. Mr. Singh said two main NGOs — Khalsa Aid and United Sikhs — have not contributed to the money collected by SKM for running the protest. They voluntarily work at the three sites for the protesters.

Medical plans

The makeshift hospital at the Singhu border is also planning to expand its area and add an in-patient department for admissions. They have also removed the divider which separated the pharmacy and the hospital.

“We will add another space — in the form of a tent — to this hospital to be able to admit more patients. There will be tiles on the floor in that tent,” said Avtar Singh, who runs the hospital started by Life Care Foundation. He said they are also planning to shut the other hospital, which is about 2 km ahead, and merge into one. Facilities like cardiology, orthopaedic, gastroenterology, pulmonology, endocrinology, dermatology, urology among others will be made available in the new set-up.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 8:48:03 PM |

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