New Delhi: Amid their stand-off with the Centre over their protest venue in Delhi, farmers rallying at the Singhu entry point on the Delhi-Haryana border on Monday were busy commemorating the birth anniversary of first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev, by listening to ‘kirtan’ and recalling his teachings in a sombre atmosphere.
The farmers – a majority of them from Punjab and followers of Sikh religion — have dug in their heels at the Singhu border for the last five days and are adamant on holding their proposed protest either at Jantar Mantar or Ramlila ground. All this while, their leaders are busy mulling their future course of action.
It was totally changed atmosphere at the protest site on Monday – instead of the clash between farmers and police officials witnessed last week over the former’s attempts to enter Delhi and subsequent enthusiastic sloganeering against the government and the new central farm laws, the protest site resonated to the sounds of ‘kirtan’ or singing of hymns on the 501st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikh religion.
Meanwhile, the farmer leaders seemed to be adamant on their stand as for the dialogue with the central government as they have clearly rejected the offer to move to the Burari ground.
“We won’t shift to the Burari ground in north-west Delhi as it is just another ploy to sideline us and to thwart our protest against their draconian farm laws,” a farmer leader told IANS.
He asserted that the farmers – mostly hailing from Punjab and Haryana — would continue to block the Singhu and Tikri borders till the government did not revoke the said laws.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police of Outer North District held a meeting on Monday with farmer leaders and urged them to clear part of the Delhi-Ambala Highway to facilitate easy movement of security forces.
The protesting farmers have been instructed by their leadership to stay put wherever they are till further instructions.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait has also said that farmers from western Uttar Pradesh have also decided to stay put at the Ghazipur entry point. “We will not leave this spot. We will not move to Burari. The Centre should come forward and listen to the farmers,” he had said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that he was committed to the welfare of hardworking farmers, and the Centre’s new farm laws were a step in this direction.