Many instances are continuously being reported when village panchayats in Punjab are asking their residents to join the farm protests on Delhi borders or pay a fine if they don’t follow the orders.
There are reports that Panchayats of at least five villages in Malwa region of Punjab passed similar orders demanding every household to send at least one male member for a week to the protest. Even though families which do not follow the order will have to pay a fine, panchayats believe that fines are just to motivate households to participate in the protest.
Protesting farmers, mainly from Punjab, have organised themselves on border of the national capital. Their main demand is to repeal three farm bills passed by the Central government. Demands for participating in the protest have been on a higher note since on the Republic day, some protestors turned into rioters and forcibly hoisted flag on the Red Fort.
Avtar Singh, sarpanch of Kararwala village in Bathinda district, said that their entire village is supporting these protests. He said that villagers themselves decided that a household should pay Rs 2,100 as a fine to the panchayat if none of its family members joins the protests. He said that residents have been asked to stay clear of drinking and not creating any unpleasant scene. He also cautioned that if anyone is found to be guilty of such acts, then he/she would have to pay a fine for Rs 5,100. The first jatha of 26 villagers from their village left for Delhi on Saturday. He said that this group will remain there for a week and then the next jatha will replace them.
Karnail Singh, sarpanch of Sivian village in Kotkapura block of Faridkot district, said that villagers themselves came to a conclusion that a member from every household will join the protest and set a fine of Rs 500 who disobeys the order. This fine will be used for the protests.
The panchayat of Thikriwal village in Barnala district also passed a similar resolution. Sarpanch Mohinder Singh said that a 25-member group will leave the village regularly. The gram panchayats of Barey village in Budhlada block of Mansa and panchayat of Natheha village in Bathinda district also ordered their residents to reach Delhi borders and join the protests.