Police raids and arrests Farm Leaders ahead of Modi's Punjab rallies

Police raids and arrests Farm Leaders ahead of Modi's Punjab rallies

Chandigarh. Just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled rallies in Punjab, police launched raids on the homes and hideouts of several farm leaders in Gurdaspur and Jalandhar. These pre-dawn operations led to the detention of numerous leaders amid threats from farmers to disrupt the PM's visit and wave black flags during his travel to the rally venues. This is pertinent to mention here that Farmer unions have been halting and chaotic situations for BJP candidates during their campaigns while asking the same questions every time unnecessarily. 

Prime Minister Modi is set to address two public meetings: one in Gurdaspur at 3:30 PM and another in Jalandhar at 5:30 PM. In response to the planned protests, police intensified security measures, including raids on the residences of prominent farm leaders such as Sukhdev Singh Bhojraj, Tarlok Singh, Satbir Singh Sultani, and Makhan Kohar. Despite these efforts, no arrests were made as many leaders had already vacated their homes, warned by informants within the police.

DIG (Border) Rakesh Kaushal denied any raids, stating that negotiations with farm leaders were ongoing to prevent protests. Meanwhile, rumors of Sarwan Singh Pandher's imminent arrival in the city were refuted by senior police officers.

Farm unions conducted secret meetings yesterday to strategize their next steps. The road from the helipad to the rally site is now heavily guarded, with SSPs from Batala, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, and Amritsar (Rural) districts on duty.

A senior farm leader expressed confusion over the police's actions, emphasizing their intention to protest peacefully. Later, two dozen farmers arriving in Gurdaspur were detained, and 52 others from Paniyar village were taken to undisclosed locations.

In Jalandhar, early morning raids resulted in the detention of farm leaders from various unions, including BKU Ekta Sidhpur and BKU Doaba. While some were released with conditions not to approach the rally site, others remain under house arrest. Police also intercepted a procession of farmers heading to Jalandhar at Nakodar.

Farm leaders like BKU Doaba President Manjit Singh Rai and unions leaders Satnam Singh Sahni and Pala Mauli faced detention but were later released on the condition that they do not march to Jalandhar.

Farmers from various regions plan to gather and march towards the PM’s rally site, voicing their dissatisfaction with the Punjab government's handling of the situation. The president of Mahila Kisan Union, Rajwinder Kaur, also faced house arrest to prevent her from joining the protests.

Farmers have criticized the state government for what they perceive as a crackdown on their right to peaceful protest, expressing deep disappointment over the preemptive detentions and restrictions imposed ahead of the Prime Minister's visit.


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