Alleging that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation against them by the Centre is a ploy meant to break their big protest, the farmers have reiterated that they will go ahead with their tractor rally slated for Republic Day.
The NIA on Sunday summoned 40 people, including farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa and Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu for questioning in a case related to the banned outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ).
Sikhs for Justice is a banned separatist group.
“Action is being taken against those who cooperate in the movement. We condemn the action the NIA is taking. We will fight against it legally. The government’s attitude is oppressive,” said a farmer leader as quoted by NDTV.
The government has appealed to the Supreme Court to stop the tractor rally of protesting farmers scheduled for January 26, the Republic Day. The farmers have planned to hold a huge rally in Delhi on January 26.
In an affidavit filed in court, the centre cited the constitutional and historic significance of the Republic Day, around which a cluster of events take place.
Centre cited in its affidavit the grand rehearsal on January 23, the National Cadet Corps rally of January 28, Beating the Retreat on January 29 and “Martyrs Day” on January 30, and said, “Any disruption or obstruction in the said functions would not only be against the law and order, public order, public interest but would also be a huge embarrassment for the nation”.
The ninth round of talks between the Centre and the farmers union demanding the repeal of the three farm laws failed to break the deadlock between the sides. The next meeting is scheduled for January 19.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) president and former Member of Parliament, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, on Friday said the farmers’ agitation against the new farm laws will only get bigger if the Central government does not give up its “stubborn attitude”.
In a statement, Brahmpura said the call given by farmers for a tractor parade towards Delhi on 26 January will prove to be historic as it is the largest movement so far which is going on completely peacefully.
“Some people are deliberately accusing this movement of being anti-national which is very unfortunate and is a low-level politics that should be avoided, “he said.
Brahmpura said PM Modi’s stubborn attitude is responsible for this movement which is not only hurting the Indian industry but also the traders who are importing and exporting goods from India to various corners of the globe which is having a direct detrimental effect on the Indian economy.
The government has held nine rounds of talks with farmer unions but the deadlock has continued.
The leaders of the 40 farmer unions representing the farmers have demanded that the government repeal all the three farm laws as they believe that they are left vulnerable in the hands of big corporate houses.
(With agency inputs)