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Farmers at Shambhu equipped for extended protest with Cots, LCDs, and 24x7 kitchen

Written by  Annesha Barua -- March 14th 2024 08:49 AM
Farmers at Shambhu equipped for extended protest with Cots, LCDs, and 24x7 kitchen

Farmers at Shambhu equipped for extended protest with Cots, LCDs, and 24x7 kitchen

PTC News Desk: Farmers at Shambhu have dug in their heels for the long haul, equipped with an array of amenities including cots, LCD screens, and even a 24x7 kitchen. Despite initial setbacks, including the tragic death of a fellow farmer on February 21, a significant number of farmers remain steadfast in their protest at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders of Punjab and Haryana.

Among them is 28-year-old Amrik Singh from Mangat Kaer village of Muktsar Sahib, who adamantly declares, "Come rain or shine, we aren’t going home till our demands are met." This sentiment is echoed by farmers from various parts of Punjab who embarked on a march towards Delhi on February 13, advocating for a legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP), complete loan waivers, and other demands. Despite encountering resistance at the Haryana border, where paramilitary forces and police were stationed, they remained undeterred. Tragically, clashes ensued, resulting in the loss of one farmer's life and injuries to several others.

However, the resolve of the protesting farmers remains unbroken. Estimates from the Punjab Intelligence Bureau indicate that approximately 7,000 to 8,000 farmers persist at the Shambhu border alone. Amrik emphasises their preparedness, stating, "Just a month has passed; we are prepared to sit for at least 12 more. Last time, we protested for 13 months."

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Leaders such as Tejvir Singh of BKU Shaheed Bhagat Singh affirm the continuity of the protest, acknowledging the inevitable ebbs and flows of such movements. Despite the sacrifices made, including the loss of seven individuals, discipline remains paramount within the community.

Practical arrangements have been made to sustain daily life at the protest sites. Farmers like 55-year-old Jaswinder Singh from Kaboolpura village in Patiala have set up makeshift homes in their tractor-trailers, complete with amenities such as table fans, bulbs, and wooden cots. Others have organised services like free washing machines for laundry and mini-health centers manned by NGOs like Khalsa Aid for medical emergencies.

Crucially, sustenance is ensured through round-the-clock langar services provided at various points along the National Highway, covering a three-kilometer stretch. Sarwan Singh Pandher, convener of Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, underscores the comprehensive preparations made for the prolonged protest, affirming the determination of the farmers to continue their struggle until their demands are met.

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(Inputs from agencies)


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