The farmers of BKU (Bharatiya Kisan Union) will be heading towards the Tikri border on Wednesday, with more than 20,000 villagers from 1,650 villages will be leaving Punjab and crossing three borders to head towards Delhi in protest. This is in the midst of the strict curbs imposed in Punjab and Haryana in view of the drastic surge of Covid-19 positive cases.
Kisan Marches On Despite COVID
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, the general secretary of BKU, said, "60 per cent of them will be women as men are busy in fields and hence women have to take charge. They will be going on buses, vans, and a few tractors from Bathinda-Dabwali, Khanauri-Jind and Sardulgarh-Fatehabad borders to reach Tikri border the same evening," reported by The Indian Express. Ever since the curbs in Punjab and Haryana have been imposed with curfews in Delhi, it is the first large convoy to head towards the Delhi border in protest. Along with general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, president Joginder Singh Ugrahan will be leading the convoy from the Khanauri-Jind border.
Heads Of Farmers Unions Regroup
Earlier in March, President Joginder Singh Ugrahan had tested positive for Covid-19 and had very recently recovered in the first week of April. General secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan too, had recently recovered from surgery on account of a fractured arm in December. Both of them will be leading the convoy on Wednesday via Khanauri. Vice President Shingara Singh Mann will be leading the convoy from the Bathinda-Dabwali border along with the farmers of the Malwa district. Mann had also been suffering from ailments in the past due to his high sugar level; his condition has since improved.
The convoy that will be heading from the Sardulgarh border of the Mansa district will be led by Ram Singh Bhainibagha, a state committee member. Senior Vice President Jhanda Singh Jethuke had come to see off the farmers at the Khanauri border even after undergoing an eye operation. Jethuke will be joining the farmers at Tikri next week, as informed by Kokrikalan. Harinder Kaun Bindu, president of the Women's wing, had been tested Covid-19 positive and therefore will not be accompanying the farmers. "I had tested positive, and I am in home isolation these days. Although I have tested negative now, my four days of isolation are still left. I will be going to Tikri next week," said Bindu.
The farmers protest against the farm bills had captured the attention of India in a big way in the last 12 months. The protest is against the farm bills, which farmers fear will leave them to the mercy of the corporates. The supreme court intervened and ordered a stay on the bills; the farmer unions, however, want nothing other than a repeal. Many rounds of talks with the government have remained inconclusive. The protests had stopped due to the second wave of the pandemic.