Farmers camped at Chilla border on Sunday took to beating utensils to highlight their plight and to get the government to withdraw three contentious farm laws that were passed in September this year.
The beating of utensils by the farmers at the sit-in protest, symbolically overlapped with the Prime Minister’s monthly radio show — Mann ki Baat — to send out a message.
A farmer from Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Bhanu faction said that this was their way of showing the “Mann ki Baat” of an average farmer.
“Maybe this will get them (the government) to realize what our issues are,” said Bhanu state president, Yogesh Pratap Singh.
The farmers have been camped at the Chilla border for 27 days now, singing old country songs and raising slogans against the new farm laws as they look to intensify their stir.
“We will continue to remain patient and we refuse to give up. Our supporters are being stopped and illegally detained or harassed on orders of the government. But that will not deter us from our mission. Our stance is clear and the onus is with the government to sort out the issues ,” said Singh.
The group camped at Chilla is constantly being joined by smaller factions from various UP districts. A second group from Aligarh joined them on Saturday, while those who were stopped in Amroha have also reached the border.
Chilla border closed on December 1 but was re-opened on December 13. However, farmers alleged that the state was stopping their supporters from reaching them after which the Noida to Delhi side was blocked by agitators once more on December 16.
Another faction from BKU’s Lokshakti — that is camping at the nearby Dalit Prerna Sthal — took out a rally on Sunday.
“We are the providers for the nation and we wanted to remind the government the same. So, during our rally we fed birds and animals that we saw around us. Our position on MSP and other issues is clear and it is the government who needs to understand that,” said Dr SK Giri, national spokesperson, Lokshakti.
Meanwhile, police personnel are hopeful that the next round of meetings between the Centre and farmer representatives will be fruitful after which the border can be re-opened.
“Law and order is stable and even traffic is moving smoothly via DND. But hopefully, a consensus will be reached in the meeting on December 29 and we would be able to re-open the border soon,” said a senior police official.
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