The ‘farmer’ protest carried out along the Punjab-Haryana border against the recently passed farm bills has seen participation from pro-Khalistani elements, who not only gloated over the assassination of the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi but also threatened PM Modi with a similar fate if their demands went unfulfilled.
In one of the videos from the protests, one of the demonstrators can be seen threatening PM Modi with dire consequences if the solution is not reached in the upcoming meeting between the farmers and the Centre over the agriculture bills.
Farmer protest or Referendum 2020? Listen and decide. pic.twitter.com/qisMGoXo9Z— Facts (@BefittingFacts) November 27, 2020
“December 3 ko meeting hai, agar hal koi hua toh thik hai nahin toh…aap jaante nahin…hamare shaheed Udham Singh ne goro ko Canada me jake thoka…Indira thok di…Modi ki chhati mein…(If we can hit the whites in Canada, Delhi is nothing. We had bumped off Indira. A similar fate awaits PM Modi if the talks that are scheduled to happen on December 3 do not yield the desired results),” a protester threatened while talking to media.
Slogans against PM Modi and the central government has been a leitmotif of the demonstrations carried out by the so-called farmers in Punjab. In one of the blockades organised to express their disapproval over the farm bills, protesters wished death upon PM Modi.
At 8:47 in the above video, the protesters chant, “haye haye modi mar gaya, mar gaya bhai mar gaya” which roughly translates to death wish for PM Modi.
At another instance in the video, the demonstrators shout, “Ikki dukki chakk deyange, dhaun te goda rakh deyange (Every Tom, Dick and Harry will be knocked out, their necks will be under our feet).”
From 2 hour 01 min onwards, one of the old demonstrators hails Pakistani PM Imran Khan while insinuating that PM Modi is the enemy of the protesters. “Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan is our friend. Our enemy is sitting in Delhi,” the man says.
Pro-Khalistani slogans and posters raised in the demonstrations by farmers in Punjab
Protests have swept Punjab after the Modi government announced three new bills for the agriculture industry. Since the passage of the bills, the farmers, inflamed by the state government, have laid blockades on railway tracks and highways to mark their protest against the bills.
However, the protests, apparently carried out by the farmers, seem to have been hijacked by the Khalistani supporters, who have raised pro-Khalistani slogans during the protests. At several instances, banners of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, one of the fervid proponents of Khalistan, were also held during the protests.
Raj karega Khalsa …. khalistan 2020 bhinderwAla but yeh khalistan ka protest thore hai pic.twitter.com/hUp62ZUixN— Sandeep Gandotra (@sandeepn9ne) November 27, 2020
Khalistan too has strong presence. pic.twitter.com/cKGjZDhjtB— Woke Poet Shashogulla 🤓🌈 (@Irate_Indian) November 27, 2020
Even in September 2020, shortly after the Parliament passed the agriculture bills and protests began in Punjab, pro-Khalistani slogans were raised by protesters who had gathered in Ambala. An Army cavalcade was blocked and pro-Khalistan slogans were shouted during the protests in Ambala. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on a busy Ambala-Amritsar National Highway-1, shouting pro-Khalistani slogans and stopped the Army trucks from passing through the highway.
‘Farmer’ protest: Congress playing a dangerous game even as Khalistanis remember how they killed Indira Gandhi
Ironically, while Khalistanis are remembering how they murdered Indira Gandhi and threatening PM Modi with the same fate, it is Congress that is fuelling these protests, hidden behind the veil of ‘farmer’ protests.
ये ओलों से नहीं डरते, तो प्रधानमंत्री मोदी के गोलों से क्या खाक डरेंगे?— Congress (@INCIndia) November 27, 2020
भाजपा हठ छोड़े और किसानों से वार्ता का नाता जोड़े। pic.twitter.com/igwmzEKCva
जो किसान कड़कड़ाती ठंड की आधी रात में खेतों को पानी से सींचता है, उसको भाजपाई सल्तनत वाटर कैनन से डराने का भ्रम पाले बैठी है।— Congress (@INCIndia) November 27, 2020
ये भाजपा की अमानवीयता है। pic.twitter.com/jMLrPJI0I1
In September, after Congress states brought in laws to negate the farm bills passed by the centre, The Congress invoked Bhagat Singh, whose birth anniversary was being celebrated today, during the protests, and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh took part in a sit-in at the ancestral village of the freedom fighter.
Even as Khalistani slogans are raised, Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh has been standing in support of the farmers stating these laws are against their benefits. Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself debunked his claims and had said on multiple occasions that these laws are in favour of the farmers, things are not cooling down in Punjab.
Only yesterday, a war of words have broken out between Amrinder Singh and Haryana CM ML Khattar. Irked by the strict measures taken by CM ML Khattar to stop the protestors from entering Delhi, CM Singh has posted a series of tweets condemning CM Khattar’s actions. He said, “For nearly 2 months farmers have been protesting peacefully in Punjab without any problem. Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don’t the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway?”
CM Singh further added it is sad that on Constitution Day, the Constitutional Right of the farmers to protest is being taken away from them. He further urged the BJP leadership at the centre to ask the states under BJP’s rule to stop using ‘strong-arm’ tactics against the farmers. “The hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside,” he added.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar replied to Captain Amrinder on Twitter and said that he had said multiple times that if there will be an issue over Minimum Selling Price (MSP) because of these laws, he will leave politics. “I’ve said it earlier and I’m saying it again, I’ll leave politics if there’ll be any trouble on the MSP – therefore, please stop inciting innocent farmers,” he said.
“Time for your lies, deception and propaganda is over – let the people see your real face. Please stop putting the lives of people in danger during the Corona pandemic. I urge you to not play with the lives of the people, at least avoid cheap politics during the time of the pandemic,” he said.
Just as Congress played a dangerous game right after the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed, leading to riots in Delhi where several Congress leaders have been accused, Congress seems to be repeating their shenanigan, this time, using the farm bills as an excuse.
Protests in Punjab over new agriculture bills
Ever since the Modi government brought the three new bills for the agriculture industry, the farmers in Punjab have been vehemently protesting against it, launching agitations and demanding the government to either withdraw the bills or ensure guarantee on the MSP front.
Taking cognisance of the ongoing protests, the Centre, earlier this week, invited farmer unions from Punjab for the second round of ministerial talks on December 3 to iron out differences over the new agriculture laws. The meeting comes after the protesters laid a condition for another central ministerial meeting while calling off their ‘rail roko’ agitation in Punjab on Monday. With the ‘rail roko’ agitation called off, nearly two-month-long blockade in the state is lifted. However, only the resumption of good trains is allowed.
The Rail Roko agitations in Punjab started in September, after which Railways suspended its services in the state stating security reasons. The services were resumed for a short span but again suspended as the government of Punjab failed to get the tracks cleared. Indian Railways had lost approximately Rs.500 crores in revenues due to the ‘Rail Roko’ agitation in Punjab until November 4.
The bills, passed in September, aimed to remove the middlemen from the sale and purchase of the produce. But, opposition parties tried to paint the bills as an attempt to remove Minimum Selling Price (MSP) and alleged that the Modi government brought these bills to facilitate large players in the agriculture business. Captain Amrinder had tabled a resolution to bypass the new regulations.