Lucknow: While scores of farmers on tractor-trolleys from western Uttar Pradesh continue to pour into the Ghazipur Border — now the epicentre of the ongoing farmers’ agitation to repeal the three Farm Laws passed last September – others in the state have been busy with last-minute preparations ahead of their much-anticipated chakka jam on February 6.
Farmers at the panchayats have resolved to make the February 6 chakka jam a success in their respective regions. They have also decided to intensify their door-to-door campaign to mobilise farmers from the villages for the chakka jam. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait, spokesperson Rakesh Tikait and many other leaders attended and addressed the panchayat.
Farmers from Hapur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Muzaffarnagar, Rampur, Saharanpur, Meerut, Baghpat, Shamli, Bijnor, Agra, Lucknow, Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Varanasi and Sonbhadra, under the banner of the BKU decided that the chakka jam would take plce for three hours, between 11 pm and 2 pm.
BKU (Youth) president Digamber Singh, who successfully organised the mahapanchayat in Bijnor and has also been assigned a role in mobilising farmers for the chakka jam, told NewsClick: “Farmers from western Uttar Pradesh, who could not take part in tractor parade on January 26 for some reason or another, will join the stir. In fact, people are excited and enthused to participate in the chakka jam on February 6 and thousands of farmers, including women from the region, will participate in it,” he added.
Encouraged by the success of the mahapanchayats, villagers have started convening panchayats in various villages. A mahapanchayat was held in the city of Baraut in Baghpat district where farmers have been sitting on an indefinite demonstration since December 17 to support the ongoing movement in Delhi.
“After the Republic Day tractor parade the chakka jam will be our first major programme; every farmer organisation is leaving no stone unturned to make it successful. Our outfit representatives are visiting villages to encourage people to turn up in large numbers on Saturday,” BKU Muzaffarnagar chief Dheeraj Latiyan told NewsClick.
He added that women and students too will join at the dharna spots to strengthen the agitation. “We will only allow ambulances and emergency vehicles to pass and no other vehicles will allowed to move between 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday,” he said.
According to BKU's national media in-charge Dharmendra Malik, all key roads – national highways, expressways, state highways, important roads connecting towns and district headquarters – will be blocked during the protest.
“There will be a three-hour-long chakka jam on February 6. We will block all the leading highways and the major roads in Uttar Pradesh which connect the neighbouring borders between Delhi-UP, Uttarakhand-UP and Haryana-UP. Public services (ambulances, school vehicles, military, police, journalists, weddings) will be kept free from traffic. No one will be allowed to create any trouble in the jam. We ensure that people who will be stranded in it will be given food and water by our supporters. We will let them know how authoritarian this government is and how they are oppressing us,” Rakesh Tikait told NewsClick.
Tikait appealed to the protesters to maintain peace during the nationwide chakka jam and said that the ongoing movement is “a battle between a stubborn ruler and the farmers”. Therefore, he said, the farmers need to unite to win the battle in a democratic manner.
“Protesters and volunteers have also been asked to keep a tight vigil to ensure that anti-social elements do not become part of the agitation on February 6 and disrupt the movement,” Tikait said.
The call for the February 6 stir has been given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions protesting against the farm laws.
BKU leaders have intensified their campaign to mobilise farmers for the chakka jam and have been visiting different villagers everyday to convince farmers about why their participation was needed to transform the ongoing movement into a success against a “stubborn” Central Government.