:datelines: Farmers are staying vigilant at Singhu and Tikri, along with Gazipur and other borders where police have intensified their deployment. There are reports of some sites at Tikri also losing electricity.
There are reports of farm union leaders speaking with police officials. Amaan Baali reported that some of the new union leaders have given responsibilities to their successors in case they are arrested. It should be noted that a number of farm union leaders, including Balbir Singh Rajewal, Rakesh Takiat, and Gurnam Singh Chaduni, were named in the FIRs for instigating violence during the tractor march.
Farmer Union leaders have also given roles and responsibilities to their immediate successors in case of any arrests. Later this evening govt has sent notices & notified leaders that they will be arrested.
— Amaan (@amaanbali) January 28, 2021
Meanwhile, more farmers are joining the protest sites across different borders. “We are here to stay and I appeal to everyone here to motivate others to join the protests. This is a crucial stage in our movement,” appealed activist Lakha Sidhana.
The situation is especially tense at Gazipur where a large deployment has been present for a while. Farm union leader Rakesh Takiat has said the farmers will not abide by the administration’s decision to vacate the protest site. “If our electricity and water supply is cut, we will instead fetch water from our villages. If there are orders to arrest us, we will court arrest but not return to our homes,” Takiat said.
Protest by Right-Wing Org Hindu Sena Fails to Gather Support From Locals
Earlier today, a group of people arrived at Delhi and led a small protest against the farmers. The group claimed to have the support of locals at Singhu, however, such claims have been refuted by Alt News India (altnews.in)
Alt News reported that a number of mainstream Indian media reported the protest as having been carried out by the locals. These channels included The Hindu, Times Now, Hindustan Times, CNN News18, India Today, The Times of India, The Indian Express, TV9 Telugu, and Hindustan.
“Delhi: Hindu Sena group and locals took out a procession against farmers’ protest at Singhu border,” said a tweet by Aaj Tak which was also retweeted by the organization’s founder and president Vishnu Gupta.
Gupta had also issued a press release which stated, “Today, local Hindu Sena activists along with local area residents went to Singhu border amid farmers and raised slogans against Khalistan supporters and appealed to the farmers to clear the road.”
Alt News contacted Vishnu Gupta who reiterated that the protest was organized against ‘Khalistani’ elements in the farmers’ protest. “We want to give them an ultimatum to clear the roads. But we did not interact with farmer leaders since the area was barricaded by the police.” He added that the demonstration, which saw the participation of locals, was organized by the Hindu Sena. “We have local units that help in these situations,” he said.
Hindu Sena is a fringe outfit that has often made headlines for the forceful imposition of ‘Hindu values and culture’. Last year during Valentine’s Day, it warned couples of police arrest. The outfit had also threatened violence against Shaheen Bagh protestors and later called-off mobilization. They had put up posters on the signage of India Islamic Cultural Centre which read “Jihadi Terrorist Islamic Centre”.