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Monday, 19 October 2020

At Shambhu, 2 stirs, different agenda

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 18

At Shambhu village, which is located at the border with Haryana, a small motley group of persons led by a Punjabi actor (a close associate of an MP from the Majha region) sits in make-shift tents, right next to the police barricades from Punjab and Haryana. The protest site is important as it is the entry point to Punjab from Haryana and Delhi. Posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Akali leader Simranjit Singh Mann adorn the pandals, as the speakers address the gathering, talking of autonomy for the state. Speaker after speaker, wearing black 'saropas', highlight the "historical injustices" meted to Punjab, even as a few cops stationed there sit uninterested.

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Intelligence officer

'Keeping watch'

We are monitoring several handles on the social media that are promoting separatist ideologies.

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Hardeep Singh from Shahwala Andresa village of Sultanpur Lodhi, who has been camping here since October 5, says they will not stop their fight till the farm laws are withdrawn. "Hun khudmukhtiyari chahidi hai (we need autonomy). The target of the Centre is to enslave Punjabi farmers. We won't allow this," he says. Seconding Hardeep, Vir Dhillon, who hails from Raike Kalan in Bathinda, refrains from talking of autonomy.

Intelligence Bureau reports have indicated more such protests across the state, highlighting a separatist agenda.

Close to the protest pandal on the main GT road, a larger gathering of farmers squats on the railway tracks against the farm Acts. Harjit Kaur from Ghanaur, who has been camping here, asks farmers not to get swayed or let politicians take over their more serious agenda of fighting the new farm laws.

Prem Singh Bhangu, president, All India Kisan Federation, said, "We, farmers, understand the games being played out by political forces. We won't let the focus shift."



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/31hqaoA

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