Monday, December 5, 2022

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Farmers’ agitation: Despite Covid, crowds swell at protest sites

The surge in Covid cases has failed to deter farmers from joining in large numbers at protest sites across Sangrur and Barnala. At many places, protesters are terming the Covid surge as an excuse by the government to weaken their agitation. The shortage of medical oxygen has become the latest ammunition against the protest, they claim.

Apart from protesting at the Delhi borders against central agricultural laws, farmers are up in arms against the tardy lifting of wheat in various grain markets of Punjab.

“Farmers continue to throng all protest sites, even though the agitation has been long and indefinite. We have not missed the protest even for a day and the number of participants continues to rise,” said Narayan Dutt, a farmer activist from Barnala.

Initially only elders and youngsters were visible at protest sites, but as they have to agitate against authorities to ensure timely purchase of their wheat, many families are sending their all members.

“Protests against the slow purchase of wheat are also happening simultaneously. The participation of farmers and their family members continues to get better,” said Baljit Kaur, a woman activist of BKU (Ugrahan) protesting at a petrol pump near Lehal Khurd village of Sangrur. Jagdev Singh Mangwal, a farmer protesting in front of a BJP leader’s house at Sangrur, says: “We have blocked almost all roads in Punjab and in coming days, we would block the remaining roads of other states too.”

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