The district administration of Shamli in Uttar Pradesh had denied permission for the farmer’s Mahapanchayat, it also banned large gatherings till April 3. However, this has made no difference to the thousands of farmers who responded to the call given by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and organisers.
By evening, images and vidoes began emerging from the meeting which seemed to have been attended in large numbers by farmers from across the region. Like the other such meetings, being held across the state, as well as Haryana, this one too discussed the three controversial farm laws and the responses of the state towards the farmers who are opposing it.
While the access to the protest sites, which have been growing in solidarity along the Delhi borders, since November 2020, have been now barricaded on the Delhi side, the Mahapanchayats are being held in open fields and grounds of the farmers themselves. This has taken the farmers revolution to the doorstep of those affected by it directly. The Shamli district administration had cited Covid restrictions on large gatherings until April and also “chances of unruly behaviour” by farmers while denying permission for the panchayat, reported NDTV. However, most farmers have often asked why these rules do not apply to political rallies and events.
— Alok Pandey (@alok_pandey) February 5, 2021
On Friday, thousands of farmers were seen congregating on the ground as they said they would. According to a report in NDTV, songs especially prepared for the protests were played, imploring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to the voice of farmers. Many chanted “Inquilab Zindabad” and assembled on to fields of Shamli on Friday, some came on their tractors and vehicles, many more came on foot. According to news reports more such panchayats have been planned across Uttar Pradesh till around February 18 by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) headed by Rakesh Tikait and have been supported by the RLD.
Farmers Defy Order, Gather For Panchayat In Shamli
— Hemant Rajaura (@hemantrajora_) February 5, 2021
On February 3, Rakesh Tikait addressed the massive crowds of farmers’ gathered at the mahapanchayat called by Kandela khap at Jind, Haryana. Tikait questioned the Union government’s response to the agitation, “What will you do if the youth removes you from power?” Over 30 khap panchayats of Haryana attended the event. The farmers movement has pitched its tents deep into Haryana, and in Western UP now.
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