They had celebrated the 2019 Diwali protesting outside the Barnala jail, for the release of farmer activist Manjeet Singh Dhaner.
In 2020, the farmers’ group had laid siege to toll plazas and outside residences of BJP leaders against the Centre’s farm laws, and in 2021, they were at the Tikri border.
This year, they will be at the doorsteps of chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s residence in Sangrur, where they have been sitting since October 9 seeking implementation of the “accepted” demands.
Kamaljeet says, “My family members have also accompanied me to all protest sites. Even we don’t want to celebrate festivals on roads, but we are left with no option. Someone has to step forward to raise the demands on commoners.”
The farmer leaders on protest have decided to celebrate Diwali by singing songs of revolution, staging plays, besides raising slogans against the state government.
Gurmail Kaur, 52, of Ameer Nagar village in Malerkotla, said, “I had gone to a protest for first time in 1997 seeking justice for a student of 12th class, who was kidnapped, gangraped and murdered in Mehalkalan. Since then, I have been regularly participating in every protest staged by BKU- Ugrahan. We are fully dependent on farming and protests are the only option to raise our voice.”
Sukhdev Kaur, 55, resident of Thuliwal village, said, “We are small farmers. My sons could not get educated due to poverty and now we are struggling to survive due to crop damage. Therefore, we are fighting for survival and for the sake of our children’s future.”