‘We are not going to budge till our demands are fulfilled’

A group of farmers from Patiala sitting on a tractor trolley at the Singhu border in Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Three months into the agitation against the farm laws, protesting farmers at the Singhu border on Friday said that they had left their villages in November with one aim in mind, which was to ensure that the laws are repealed. They added that they have not looked back since then.

As the stalemate continues, despite several rounds of talks between the farmer leaders and the Centre, those who have been camping at the Capital’s border for over 90 days now remained firm and reiterated that they were not ready to return to their respective villages.

Sukhdev Singh, a farmer from the Kapurthala district, said: “When we started out, we did not have a timeline. We only had one aim and after three months our aim is the same. The government should know that we are adapting to each season or circumstance and we are not going to budge till our demands are met.”

“This will be a long fight and we are prepared for it. The unions will now have to give the next call so that we are able to get the government’s attention,” added Gurjeet Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Patiala district.

No question of returning

Joginder Singh, a 63-year-old farmer from Punjab’s Taran Tarn district, who was one of the thousands who had reached the border on the first day, said: “Everyone knows what the government is up to. The only hope we have is that we are able to get what we want. In the last three months, we have devised mechanisms and made arrangements for ourselves. We are sitting here peacefully and there is no question of us returning.”

Several of the farmers recalled how for the first one month they stayed away from their families and it was only later that a rotational system was devised among the farmers.

Sukhjeet Singh, another farmer from Patiala, said: “When we first left our homes some of us carried clothes, while many did not. Then as we proceeded we faced barricades, trenches and police action. Finally, when we reached the Singhu border we knew that we were not moving from here unless the laws are repealed.”

“For the first two months, many of us did not meet our families at all. It was only later that they started visiting us at the border and we started the rotational basis where we get to go home for a few days. In the last three months, villagers from Sonipat, Panipat and Karnal have been more than helpful to us,” said Mr. Singh.

The protesting farmers have become permanent by now, said Gurlal Singh, another farmer from Taran Tarn. “There were several hurdles before us on our way to Delhi. But now that we have been here for three months, we have almost become permanent fixtures. As many as 25 of us had come here from our village in two trolleys and for the first month none of us went back. After the January 26 incident, one more trolley joined us at the border and we stay here on a rotational basis,” said Mr. Singh.

Jaspal Singh, a farmer from Kapurthala district added, “When the need arises, more trolleys will join us here. No matter what season it is or what the circumstances are, we are not moving till the laws are repealed.”

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 5:10:29 AM |

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