The tractor rally on January 26 this year was to highlight the demands of farmer unions to repeal three agri laws but dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital as thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with the police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.
The events left many shocked and there was a massive outrage following the violence. However, in poll-bound Punjab, which has been the state most affected by the protests, the agitation against the farm laws has strong support especially in the rural areas.
In a statement on social media, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi said in support of the 83 people arrested on January 26, his government would provide a monetary compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each of them.
“Reiterating My Govt’s stand to support the ongoing #FarmersProtest against three black farm laws, We have decided to give Rs 2 lakh compensation to 83 people arrested by Delhi Police for carrying out a tractor rally in the national capital on 26th January, 2021,” the Punjab chief minister said on Twitter.
Reiterating My Govt’s stand to support the ongoing #FarmersProtest against three black farm laws, We have decided t… https://t.co/9uYqsXHuKg
— Charanjit S Channi (@CHARANJITCHANNI) 1636715525000
Significantly, the move also comes at a time when farmers’ body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has announced that to observe one year of the movement against the Centre’s three agri laws, 500 farmers will participate in a peaceful tractor march to Parliament every day during the wiinter session starting November 29.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the laws, which were stayed by the Supreme Court in January, at the Delhi borders since November 26 last year.
The SKM, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions leading the stir, announced the tractor march after it held a meeting here.
Farmer leaders, who were present in the meeting, said that those participating in the tractor march will sit wherever the police will stop them. In a statement, the amalgam said that it will observe one year of the movement on and after November 26 in a massive way all over India.
“The SKM decided that from November 29 until the end of this Parliament session, 500 selected farmer volunteers will move every day to Parliament in tractor trollies peacefully and with full discipline, to assert their rights to protest in the national capital,” the statement had said.
Meanwhile, in another move, Channi also said Punjabi has been made a compulsory subject in all schools in the state and they may be fined for not following it.
Channi made this announcement a day after the Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Learning of Punjabi and Other Languages (Amendment) Bill, 2021, aimed at strictly enforcing the implementation of Punjabi as a compulsory subject for all students from classes 1 to 10 in the state.
“To promote mother tongue, Punjabi has been made a compulsory subject for all students from class I to X in Punjab. Schools to be fined up to 2 lakh for violation,” Channi said in a tweet.
(With Agency inputs)