As farmers held a 3-hour 'Chakka Jam' across India, a flag bearing a portrait resembling Khalistani terrorist Bhindranwale was spotted on a tractor in Ludhiana on Saturday. The Chakka jam was held peacefully across India in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale - the brains behind 'Khalistan' demand - was killed by the Indian Army as part of Operation Blue Star in 1984 after he and his militants held a siege in the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar.
This development comes after pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) founder Mo Dhaliwal's video talking about 'repealing India's Farm Laws' surfaced on Friday. Shared by ANI, the undated video shows Dhaliwal claiming that the 'repealing of the farm laws was the beginning of the battle'. Naming the Khalistan movement, he claimed that all movements from the Farm Bill protest to the Khalistan movement were all 'part of the same struggle'. Delhi police is probing into the issue.
The umbrella body for the farmers' protest, Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) called for a 3-hour 'Chakka Jam' from 12 noon to 3 PM on Saturday, across India except Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said that sugar-cane farmers from UP and Uttarakhand were inconvenienced- opting to issue a memorandum to the state government detailing their demands, hence the two states were exempted. Tikait said that farmers will provide food and water to people stuck in traffic, while explaining to them 'what the Govt was doing to them'.
Reports state that there is growing resentment against the BJP among Jat farmers from Western UP, who had voted for the Modi government in 2019. With most panchayats boycotting BJP leaders from their Mahapanchayats, reports state that the BJP is trying to reach out to the farmers ahead of UP polls 2022. MHA has cut off the internet at Tikri, Ghazipur, and Singhu areas till Sunday.
After 11 rounds of Centre-farmer talks, the two parties failed to reach a middle ground on Friday after a five-hour meeting with the associations refusing to agree to the Centre's proposal for suspending the implementation of the aforesaid legislation for one and a half years. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar categorically said that the Union government is ready for another meeting only if the farmers want to discuss this proposal. The Supreme Court has stayed the three laws and constituted a 3-member panel to hold talks with farmers. While Centre has welcomed this move, farmers have refused to participate in it, insisting to talk only with the Centre.