Ahead of farmers' tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day, Punjab farmer leaders on Monday said they have deployed volunteers to keep a vigil on rumour-mongers and have also asked protesters not to believe any rumour which could potentially disturb the peaceful march. Farmers from several parts of Punjab and Haryana on Monday continued to head towards Delhi to join the tractor parade against the Centre's three new agriculture laws.
With the arrival of more tractors, traffic on the Ambala-Delhi highway slowed down at many stretches. "We are all set for the tractor parade on Republic Day," Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said on Monday.
Around 35,000 tractor-trolleys belonging to farmers who owe allegiance to the BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) are taking part in the tractor parade, said Kokrikalan. He said the instructions have been issued to farmers not to believe any rumour that could disturb the parade.
Trained volunteers have been deputed to keep a vigil on rumour-mongers and any unfamiliar person who could disturb the rally, said Kokrikalan, exuding confidence that the parade would be peaceful. Those who are participating in the parade have also been asked to maintain discipline. "Youngsters have been told to stay in the cavalcade," said Kokrikalan.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday appealed to growers to ensure their rally remains peaceful as their stir against the "anti-farmer" laws have been so far. Notably, the Delhi police on Sunday had said that over 300 Twitter handles have been generated from Pakistan to disrupt the tractor parade.
Protesting farmers will be depicting farmers' suicide through their tableaux during the tractor parade. "We will try to highlight several issues including of farmers' suicide," said BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) leader Shingara Singh Mann.
He said through one of the tableaux, farmers will be encouraged to fight for their rights rather than ending their lives. "We will register our protest on this Republic Day," said Mann.
As the demand for flags of farm bodies swelled, farmer leaders cautioned some people against selling the flags at a higher rate. Kokrikalan said the flags of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) were being manufactured and sold at Rs 100 to 200 per piece by some printing presses. "We have asked such shops and sellers not to defame this agitation and farm unions by making money out of selling their flags at these rates," said Kokrikalan. "If they want to sell the flags, sell them at Rs 10-20 a piece," he said.
There is a huge demand for flags of different farm unions as many people were sporting these on their vehicles. Hundreds of tractors on Monday left from several places in Punjab and Haryana for taking part in the tractor parade.
In Ludhiana, a 30-member team of doctors, nurses, lab technicians, paramedical and support staff on Monday left Delhi for providing medical care to farmers. Dr Arun Mitra, who was leading the team, said they will join the tractor parade with their ambulances and give on the spot medical aid to the needy.
"We are carrying medicines and equipment for minor surgical procedures," he said. Farmer leaders had said they would take out a tractor parade on Republic Day. On Sunday, the Delhi police had said the farmers' proposed tractor rally would start after the time period of the Republic Day celebration had ended.