Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, February 6
In view of the “Chakka Jam” call given by the farmers unions protesting the farm laws, the national as well state highways in Ludhiana were blocked for three hours on Saturday.
Tractors and other vehicles were stationed in the middle of roads to as a mark of protest.
A large number of agitating farmers and their supporters started sitting on dharnas at different locations from 12 noon and continued their protests till 3 pm. The protesters were raising slogans against the Modi government, demanding repealing of the “draconian” farm laws.
The Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan) members staged a protest near MBD Mall on Ferozepur Road. Sudagar Singh Ghudani of the BKU Ugrahan said, “We demand that farm laws should be repealed at the earliest. We want from government to give guarantee of MSP. The Swaminathan report should be implemented. The farmers who have been in jail should be released.”
“The FIRs against farmers should be cancelled. Besides, the police have damaged our machinery and tractors in Delhi and the government should pay compensation for the same,” he added.
Resentment on roads
The farmers and their supporters staged dharnas at different locations on the Jalandhar-Delhi (NH 44) stretch, Ferozepur Road and other major roads in Ludhiana. Members of the Bheem Army Punjab and Azad Samaj Sewa staged a protest at Jalandhar Bypass to extend their support to the Kisan Andolan. Besides, farmers also staged protests near Jodhewal Basit Chowk, near Green Land School, Karabara Chowk and other locations on the NH-44. A protest was staged at the Ladhowal toll plaza on the national highway.
Members of the Textile Hosiery Kamgar Union, Karkhana Mazdoor Union and Naujwan Bharat Sabha marked their protest near Samrala Chowk, Ludhiana. Rajwinder Singh of the THKU said the Central government should revoke the farm laws and cancel the cases registered against the farmers and activists.
City residents chip in
A numbers of city residents came forward to extend their support to the protesting farmers during the “Chakka Jam” in Ludhiana. Students and youngsters, carrying placards in support of farmers, participated in the protests on Ferozepur Road and other sites. Students of Gurmat Gian Missionary College and a group of senior lawyers staged A protest at Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana. A number of women too came forward to participate in the protest to raise their voice against the farm laws.
Meanwhile, the protesting farmers were seen making way for an emergency vehicle on NH-44 near Jodhewal Basti. The protesters also made way for an ambulance on Ferozepur Road during the protest.
Bus stand employees conduct gate rally
The PUNBUS Contractors Workers Union Ludhiana Depot president Shamsher Singh said they held a gate rally at the bus stand in support of the farmers. The members blamed the Union government for harassing the farmers who have been agitating against the farms laws.
‘Bills will lead to pauperisation’
Addressing a rally organised opposite Verka Milk Plant, Ludhiana, Amarjeet Kaur, national general secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said the farm bills would not only lead to the pauperisation of farmers but also push the common man into hunger crisis.
Amarjeet Kaur said, “Corporates will not only snatch land of farmers but also hoard the agricultural produce and sell it at much higher prices at a later date. This will further push the already food-starved common people of the country to bigger crises as they will not have the required purchasing capacity. The government is blatantly working for the corporates. The events of January 26 have exposed the conspiracy hatched by the government to defame the movement of the farmers.”
“The way barricades are being put up at the Delhi borders and the farmers are being denied water, food supply and Internet services is pointer to the concentration camps in the making on the pattern of the Nazis in Germany by Hitler,” she added.
Com Mangat Ram Pasla, leader of the CTU Punjab said that the farmers have challenged the Modi government which is shaken and is trying to intimidate the farmers. Members of the Lok Insaaf Party also staged a protest at the Jalandhar bypass.
Horns blown to ‘awaken’ Central government
At the end of the “Chakka Jam” on Ferozepur Road, a number of protesters blew horns of their vehicles expressing as a mark of their protest. Saudagar Singh Ghudani of the BKU Ekta (Ugrahan) said the horns were blown “to awaken the government which is not listening to the voice of farmers”.
The farmers union on Ferozepur Road appreciated and thanked all celebrities, activists and all other people, who had come forward to extend their support to the agitating farmers. These included pop star Rihanna, climate and environmental activists Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and others who have tweeted in support of farmers.
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