Day after Delhi violence, it's business as usual for farmers at Singhu border

·3-min read

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) It was business as usual for agitating farmers at Singhu border on Wednesday as some were busy with langars while others listened to speeches of their leaders even as talks of the tractor rally that witnessed vandalism and violence a day before filled the air.

Most of the farmers protesting at Singhu Border for over two months against the Centre's farm laws were part of the tractor rally on Tuesday and claimed that 'miscreants' at the behest of the Centre 'sabotaged' the 'peaceful' march.

'Why would we discredit our movement with something like that happened yesterday in Delhi. The agents of BJP government were behind the violence who defied the directions of our leaders to strictly follow the pre-decided route,' said Balwinder Singh from Ludhiana.

Singh said he and his companions returned after covering a distance of 10-15 km from Singhu border after receiving directions from the leaders on Tuesday evening as clashes between farmers and police were reported at many places.

Over 300 policemen and several farmers were injured in the violence as some sections of protesters deviated from designated route and entered inner parts of Delhi. A protester died after his tractor overturned at ITO.

A sense of urgency and alertness was visible at the farmers' sprawling protest venue on GT Karnal road on Wednesday as identity cards of outsiders including mediapersons were being checked to weed out any suspicious people.

At Singhu border too, identity cards were being checked randomly by the protesting farmers.

Some of those who participated in the tractor rally complained that they were 'misled' by a section of protesters and there was no way to check the route on Google map as the internet was down.

'When a section of protesters took the detour those behind them followed. We had to follow the pre-decided route but could not sense that it was changed as Google map (mobile app) was not working due to poor (internet) connectivity,' said Sahil Bharti, a protester from Ludhiana.

Sewa Singh, a farmer from Jalandhar said the protest against the farm laws was going on 'peacefully' for two months without any incident but the developments within hours on Tuesday has hit the movement.

'There is some disappointment after the incidents during the tractor rally. But we are determined to continue the protest against the farm laws as long as it takes,' Singh said.

Many protesters who had come from different parts of Punjab, Haryana and other states in recent days for taking part in the tractor rally were seen leaving the venue on Wednesday.

'We had come here only for taking part in the tractor rally and now going back home. We support the fight against the farm laws of government,' said a farmer going back to his home in Karnal alongwith his companions on a tractor.

The farmers leaders held a meeting under the banner of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha on Wednesday and issued a statement alleging that a 'dirty conspiracy' was hatched with Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and others against the peaceful struggle by farmers.

'It was a deep rooted conspiracy to knock down the peaceful and strong farmers' struggle,' said the morcha in the statement. PTI VIT RHL