Ahead of PM Modi’s rallies in Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, cops detain angry farmers : The Tribune India

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Ahead of PM Modi’s rallies in Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, cops detain angry farmers

Crackdown as farm activists vowed to show black flags to Modi

Ahead of PM Modi’s rallies in Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, cops detain angry farmers

Detained farmers being taken on a bus from the rally area in Gurdaspur’s Dinanagar to Bhaini Mian Khan village, 60 km away. Tribune photo



Ravi Dhaliwal & Aparna Banerjee

Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur/Jalandhar, May 24

Hours before PM Narendra Modi was to reach Dinanagar, the Punjab Police cracked down on agitating farmers and arrested more than 50 of them from Paniyar village focal point, just 2 km away from the rally site.

The farmers had announced protests in Gurdaspur and Jalandhar where the PM was to address gatherings in support of BJP candidates. Sources said the police took the preventive action to avoid the repeat of security lapse during the PM’s visit to Ferozepur in January 2022.

In Gurdaspur, the police raided the houses of top farmer union leaders late on Thursday night and in the early hours of Friday. Most of them, however, managed to give cops the slip after they were reportedly tipped-off by their sources.

A police officer said, “The union leaders have a lot of sources in the department. Anybody owning even an acre of land is a sympathiser of protesting farmers and their movement. They pass on information about any possible action against them. No wonder most leaders managed to make good their escape.”

The sources said another factor that worked in their favour was the presence of deras on the outskirts of villages. “Inmates of these deras immediately inform the farmers living in nearby villages about the movement of the police,” said another senior officer.

DIG (Border) Rakesh Kaushal said the police had been trying to negotiate with the farmers since yesterday, but they kept insisting that they would show black flags to the PM. The farmers thus arrived at Paniyar focal point from various directions on Friday morning where they were detained and taken to an undisclosed location.

The sources said on Thursday evening, some farmers purchased 400 metre of black cloth from a shop in the main market. The CID got wind of this development, following which it was decided to stop them in their tracks.

In another development, the police rounded up about two dozen farmers who arrived at Gurdaspur railway station from Amritsar.

They were taken to the nearby Government Railways Police (GRP) police station and were released only after the PM’s rally was over.

In Jalandhar, former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi reached Akalpur village to express solidarity with detained farmer union leader Paramjit Singh Pamma.

“I will not question the police. I will question Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann as to why he had ordered the detention of farmers. It is clear that he is hand in glove with the BJP,” he alleged.

In another related development, farmers aligned with the Kirti Kisan Union held a massive gathering at Jeevan Nangal village near Nakodar.

The BSF was deployed to avert any untoward incident. Trouble also simmered at Phagwara where activists of the BKU (Doaba) held a protest near an eatery on the Phagwara-Jalandhar National Highway. The activists, led by BKU (D) president Manjit Singh Rai, first assembled at the grain market on the Phagwara-Hoshiarpur road and then drove for about 14 km before being stopped.

The Jalandhar police said while scores of leaders were let off on the condition that they won’t go to the PM’s rally, many others remained under house arrest.

A jatha of 100 Kirti Kisan Union members was detained at Nawanshahr. Traffic disruptions were seen on the Jalandhar-Amritsar, Jalandhar-Nakodar-Moga and Jalandhar-Phagwara highways.

#Gurdaspur #Narendra Modi #Punjab Police


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