Farmer unions promise show of force in Muzaffarnagar
Southern US groups to join more than 1,000 protesters for Sunday mahapanchayat
Ahead of the September 5 mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar against controversial agricultural laws, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) said on Friday that the rally would be historic and would see the participation of farmer groups from across the country.
“Apart from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, farmers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have also started to reach the border of Ghazipur,” said Dharmendra Malik, media officer, BKU.
BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said farmers and workers link the mahapanchayat to their dignity. He stressed that this would be the first time he had visited his home neighborhood since the unrest began in November 2020. “I had promised Bill wapsi nahin to ghar wapsi nahin (not to go home unless the bills are recalled), ”he said.
Mr Tikait said it was the appeal of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the coordinating body of various farmers’ unions protesting against the laws, that forced him to return to Muzaffarnagar. He stressed, however, that he would not be going to his home.
It would also be the first time the Tikait brothers have shared the stage in Muzaffarnagar since the unrest began.
On Friday, Chukki Nanjudaswamy, daughter of Dr MD Nanjudaswamy, eminent agricultural scientist and President of Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha, met Mr Rakesh Tikait before traveling to Muzaffarnagar.
Mr Malik said about 5,000 volunteers will work with the police to ensure smooth traffic, as more than a lakh of farmers are expected to reach the maidans at Government Inter College on Sunday.
“We issued identity cards to our volunteers. Hundreds of medical camps are also set up. Mobile langars (kitchens) have already started to operate to feed the farmers. We called on the inhabitants to treat the farmers coming to participate in the mahapanchayat as their guests and to make sure that they do not encounter any difficulties, ”said Mr. Malik. He alleged that some government acolytes were spreading rumors that the panchayat had been postponed but that such measures would not work.
The government of Uttar Pradesh is preparing to deal with the situation with the arrival of senior officials in Muzaffarnagar. Police officers who have served in Muzaffarnagar in the past have been called in to support the local police.