Udayavni Special

Too busy fighting for our rights to be afraid of COVID-19: ‘Maskless’ farmers at Tikri border


PTI, Dec 9, 2020, 5:49 PM IST

New Delhi: Caught between the COVID-19 pandemic and the agitation for their rights, farmers protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws said the fear of contracting the disease is “not enough” to detract them from their fight.

Thousands of farmers camping at the Tikri borders are largely seen without the basic preventive measure against COVID-19 – protective masks.

“The government has already tied a noose around our necks with these laws… we cannot afford to be afraid of coronavirus,” Gagandeep Singh, a farmer from Bhatinda in Punjab, said.

He has been protesting at the Delhi-Haryana border for the last 10 days.

Demonstrating for 12 straight days, the farmers have been demanding that the three laws be revoked.

Sporting a long white beard, Gurvasan Singh said he was not afraid of the disease that has already killed over 1.4 lakh people in the country.

“We are losing our rights. We do not have time to worry about coronavirus,” he said.

According to Sachin Kumar from Delhi’s Uttam Nagar, the government’s refusal to hear the farmers’ demands proved that it was creating the fear of the virus to shutdown the protest.

Kumar, whose family has land in Uttar Pradesh mocked, “It seems that the virus will infect us exclusively.”

“What is shown on camera and the reality on ground is different,” he added.

The Centre has cancelled its crucial sixth round of talks with 40 protesting farmers’ unions that was scheduled on Wednesday as farm leaders declined to participate, after a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday night failed to break the deadlock.

Meanwhile, traffic was disrupted at border points with farmers agitating on the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of Delhi.

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police alerted commuters that the Tikri, Jharoda, Dhansa borders are closed for any traffic movement. However, Jhatikara border is open only for two wheelers and pedestrian movement.

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