Sixty-year-old Kuldeep Singh Grewal will be one among the 200 farmers who will march towards Jantar Mantar on Thursday morning.
Till Wednesday afternoon, five farmers per union per day were supposed to march towards Parliament to oppose farm laws, but this number was reduced to three farmers per union by late evening as the number of participating unions increased, revealed a Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) representative. The SKM also said that the farmers will now march towards Parliament Street and then hold a Kisan Sansad at the Jantar Mantar.
Dr Darshan Pal, member SKM and president of Krantikari Kisan Union, Punjab, said, “We have got permission from LG, Delhi for organising Kisan Sansad at Parliament Street. Everyday 200 farmers will be going. On Thursday, out of 200 farmers, 100 will be from Punjab. A six-member committee has been formed to run the Sansad which comprises of Yogendra Yadav, Krishanprasad, member All India Kisan Sangrash Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) and three members will be from Punjab. Everyday new speaker and deputy speaker will be chosen to run the Kisan Sansad. Ours is a peaceful protest and we want our voice to be heard.”
Grewal, who is senior vice president of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “It is not the first time that I will be going for an important march. I have been jailed as well in the past. I have been part of this union for more than two decades, so struggling on issues is our foremost duty and I volunteered to go in the first jatha. I am ready for any eventuality if any…. but we are going to awaken the parliamentarians that laws are supposed to be for the welfare of people and not to trouble them.”
BKU (Ugrahan) is the largest farmer union in Punjab and on Thursday, other representatives from Ludhiana will also be part of the march. Union has deputed volunteers district wise who are being given I-Cards as well with proper details of farmer’s name, his address, mobile number, Aadhaar number etc. Grewal was already at Tikri border Wednesday evening.
Cautious after the Republic Day violence, unions have decided to send limited number of farmers towards Jantar Mantar and that too with I-Cards issued by the SKM.
Manjit Singh Dhaner (65), senior vice president of BKU (Dakaunda),said, “I will be going along with our Barnala unit members Amandeep Singh Gaggi (27) from Dyalpura Bhaika village and Jagsir Singh Chhapa (37) from Chhapa village of Barnala. Representatives of different farmer unions of India will be organising a parallel Kisan Sansad at Jantar Mantar to awaken the government of this country. They will have a session inside Parliament and we will be having it outside. We are aware that we may be arrested, or lathi charged….We are simple farmers who don’t want farm laws and hence we are protesting for a cause. Let them do whatever they want. We are prepared.”
Sukhwinder Singh Sabhran, a farmer from Tarn Taran, said, “Main mang ke duty lagwai hai (I have volunteered for this duty) I am with Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC) and we are marching towards Parliament Street with a demand to get farm laws repealed.”
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of KMSC, said, “A total of 150 volunteers of our union have given their names and are willing to go in turns every day. Let Delhi Police verify details of our protesting farmers, we are not bothered. We are the struggling farmers who are against the three farm laws and we are protesting for a cause.”
“Daily 200 new farmers will be marching towards Jantar Mantar to have a separate Kisan Sansad and this process will continue till August 13,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary BKU (Dakaunda).
The Punjab Kisan Union will be sending an all-women group of as part of the first jatha on Thursday.
Among those who will join the jatha will be Manveer Kaur (27) of Derabassi, a mother of three minor daughters. “Our union will be sending all-women jathas on July 26 and August 9 as well,” said Sukhdarshan Singh Natt from the union while talking to The Indian Express. Farmers of different unions will gather at Singhu border Thursday morning and will go via buses as per the permission received from cops, told Dhaner.
Jora Singh, a 65-year-old landless farmer from Macchiwara block of Ludhiana will also be part of this protest. Singh said that he lost his land to debt and his son too.
“Now I am making my living by rearing cattle. Landless are also part of this struggle. We are united against farm laws.”
Satnam Singh Ajnala, president of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, will also be going to Jantar Mantar Thursday. Ajnala said, “On day one, I will be going and later our volunteers will go. We have to take the lead.” The SKM also had a meeting with Delhi Police in this connection with the march to Jantar Mantar on Thursday.