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Angry farmers, khap support & a ‘warning’ to govt — snapshots from Tikait’s Jind mahapanchayat

In Haryana's Jind, thousands gathered for Rakesh Tikait's rally. Chanting 'Kisan Ekta Zindabad' slogans, the supporters said they 'won't forgive Modi govt'.

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Haryana: Winds of change seem to have begun to blow in Haryana’s Jind, considered the epicentre of Jat politics.

The change was visible during the “mahapanchayat” in Haryana’s Jind, organised by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, where thousands flocked to attend a rally by Tikait against the contentious farm laws Wednesday.

The meeting was organised by Sarva Jatiya Kandela Khap headed by Tekram Kandela, president of Khandela Khap.

The “mahapanchayat” was also attended by Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni and BKU leader from Punjab, Balbir Singh Rajewal, along with 50 other khap leaders.

Jind mahapanchayat
Thousands flocked to Jind for farmers’ mahapanchayat | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Tikait’s address witnessed crowds chanting “Kisan Ekta Zindabad” slogans, with many saying they stand with the BKU leader in his fight against the “black laws”.

“We have been talking about bill wapsi until now, but it’s time the government listens to us more carefully. What will they do if the youth call for gaddi wapsi (removal from power),” Tikait said.

Mahapanchayat
A supporter waves the tricolour at farmers’ gathering in Jind district in Haryana | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

‘Would sleep hungry than allow govt destroy everything’

Several protesters ThePrint spoke to at Kandela village said they “won’t forgive” the Modi government for the farm laws.

“My father and brother have been at Singhu since the last two months. We are running the house back here and have come out in support of Tikait ji today. We demand that the government listens to us because we voted it to power,” said 24-year-old Jyoti Burra.

“We forgave Modi for demonetisation. We won’t forgive him for these laws,” said 50-year-old Suresh Kumar, whose two sons have been at the Ghazipur protest site since December.

Farmers mahapanchayat
A huge crowd gathered in Jind for the ‘mahapanchayat’ | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

There was a visible change in the mood among among the protesters as many residents said they will donate whatever is asked from them to support the farmers’ agitation.

“We would rather sleep hungry now then let the government destroy everything we have with these laws. The Modi government wants to capitalise everything. It has to remember that kisan nahi toh kuch nahi (Nothing is possible without farmers)’,” said 58-year-old Dharmendra Jat.

women in Jind
Women at farmers’ gathering in Kandela village in Jind | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

‘We are together in this’

The sound of thunderous claps filled the air as Tikait addressed urged everyone to continue protests in a peaceful manner. He also gave a call for unity, slamming “anti-social” elements for “employing people like Deep Sidhu” to hoist the Nishan Sahib at the Red Fort.

“This was a tactic to turn the agitation into something like the ’84 riots, but we are all together in this. Sikhs, Jats, Muslims, all of us. The Republic Day chaos was not done by the farmers, we must now remain undeterred,” the BKU leader said.

 

Rakesh Tikait
Rakesh Tikait addresses a gathering at Jind mahapanchayat | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

“The agitation is getting support from our khap panchayats, we will win this fight. It is not ending before October. Kanoon Wapsi Nahi toh Ghar Wapsi Nahi (We won’t go back till the laws are repealed). We have to maintain the prestige of the farmer’s turban,” he said.

Jind farmers
Thousands gathered at Kandela village in Jind for farmers’ mahapanchayat | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

He also slammed the police for laying spikes on the roads, building makeshift walls and putting up barricades and barbed wires at the Singhu protest site. “They have turned it into a jail. In which world are farmers treated like this?” he asked.

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