It’s been 25 days since thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and other Indian states began to gather in and around the national capital in protest against three new central agricultural laws. Today, on what is being called “Shraddhanjali Diwas”, they are all taking a moment to remember their comrades who fell during their collective struggle these past many days.
At Singhu, one of the border points between Delhi and Haryana where a large number of farmers have been camped in protest, prayers were read out today before posters of the 29 persons who reportedly lost their lives during the course of the agitation.
This includes Jai Singh, the 38-year-old who died of cold weather conditions on Thursday, and Baba Ram Singh, a priest who died by suicide on Wednesday, “angry and pained” at the government’s injustice.
One poster at the Singhu protest venue said the farmers will not rest before achieving what the shaheed (those fallen in battle) lost their lives for.
Around 5pm today, they will hold a candle-light vigil in remembrance. The organisers of the event have invited the citizens of Delhi to join them in the programme.
The farmers’ protest in and around Delhi may be only a few weeks old, but the agitation itself has been going on for a longer time – at least since September when the central laws were passed by Parliament.
Multiple rounds of talks with the central government and appeals by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have failed to break the impasse, with the farmers seeking the complete repeal of the three laws.