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Uncountable farmers' unions join protest grounds

Uncountable farmers unions join protest grounds

Sukhwinder Singh Sabhra,General Secretary Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti

Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti general secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sabhra travelled from Firozpur in Punjab to Singhu border's protest ground with 3500 farmers.

Like them, several farmers' organisations which are not part of the Samyuktha Samara Samiti are joining the protests. Another large group from Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Tharan, Amritsar are en route, says Sukhwinder.

Despite it being the season for cultivation, farmers have joined protests in large numbers. When asked if this wouldn't create a loss for them, Singh countered that it would not be possible to pursue agriculture without saving it from Ambani and Adani first.

"We are cultivating now to feed the citizens but they are pressurizing us to cultivate for the corporates. The farmers will continue to sit for protests till 2024 if Modi does not repeal the new laws. He has acknowledged that he lied by agreeing to bring changes in the laws. If the laws were indeed beneficial for the farmers, why would they agree to changes in the first place," laughs Singh.

Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti demands that the ban on the use of tractors over 10 years be lifted in addition to repealing the three laws. If restrictions are imposed on tractors like other motor vehicles, tractors would remain an unattainable dream for small farmers. Punjabi farmers use tractors for 20-40 years. If these tractors are prohibited, they will have to give up farming and sell their lands to corporates.

Sabhra introduced the farmer who drove 550km in his 40-year-old tractor to protest the ban imposed claiming environmental pollution.

"It still works perfectly as they have taken good care of it in the last forty years," said Sabhra.

Joginder Ugrahan lead Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) hasn't been allowed in discussions despite the union's large backing. Off the different unions protesting at the borders, this union has the most number of people protesting at Tikri border.

On human rights day, they garnered media attention upholding the pictures of the human rights activists who have been jailed.

"To expose the Modi government, all democratic organisations must join hands and this is why we combined other human rights issues with the farmers' protests," says Ugrahan.

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TAGS:farmers protest Farm bill farmers 
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