As Punjab struggles to put a lid on the second wave of the pandemic, farmers unions have held two big rallies in Amritsar in two days. After Sunday’s rally at Amritsar’s Bhaghtan Wala, second rally was held on Monday in district’s Kukranwala village.
The Bhaghtan Wala rally was held by Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committe, while Monday’s event was organised by Sonia Mann to mark the death anniversary of her father and Left-wing activist Baldev Mann.
Apart from farmer leader Rakesh Tikait’s son Gaurav Tikait, BKU (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Ruldu Singh Mansa, Kirti Kisan Union leader Rajinder Singh and Jamhuri Kisan Sabha leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu also attended the rally.
Baldev Mann was killed by Sikh militants in 1990. He was associated with CPI (Marxist-Leninist) and Kirti Kisan Union. He was editor of a ulta-Left journal.
Speaking on the occasion, Gaurav said, “We will not forget the conspiracies of this government to hurt the farmer movement by labelling farmers as ‘Khalistanis’ and ‘terrorists’. But such attempts didn’t work.”
Sonia Mann said, “I observe death anniversary of my father every year. However, this year I decided to hold a farmers’ rally in support of farmers protesting against the three new bills.”
Amritsar is one of the worst affected districts of Punjab and massive gatherings in two consecutive days have worried the health officials. However, it was an exception to see people wearing masks in the rallies held on Sunday and Monday.
“Government has now come up with new excuse of Covid-19. First Prime Minister should stop his rallies,” said Gaurav Tikait.
Meanwhile, the rally on the death anniversary of Baldev Singh Mann was opposed on twitter by a section of farmer activists. Some farmer activists argued that rally on the death anniversary of someone with ultra-Left background could deviate the focus of the movement against farm laws.