Farmers to march towards CM’s Patiala residence on Sunday; police on toes

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 21

Farmer unions, who started an indefinite strike at Mehmadpur grain market on Friday to seek pardon for an activist “falsely implicated” in a murder case, have decided to march towards the Chief Minister’s residence on Sunday, as part of their protest. 

Demanding the revocation of life imprisonment granted to union leader Manjit Singh Dhaner, union members said the government should expedite the request to the Punjab Governor for grant of pardon. 

Manjit Singh Dhaner was one of the key leaders in the people’s movement to ensure justice to the victim in the rape and murder of Kiranjit Kaur of Mehal Kalan, in Barnala district in 1997.

On Saturday, while addressing the protesting farmers, Buta Singh, convener, Sangharsh Committee, announced that they would march towards the Chief Minister residence, on Sunday.

He said, “If they (authority) think, we will return home only after protesting at Mehmadpur grain market then they are wrong. We will march towards the Chief Minister residence.”

It is pertinent to mention that, on Friday, the protesters had tried to march towards the city, but heavy police force stopped them at Mehmadpur village. They staged a sit-in and blocked the Patiala-Bathinda highway for some time.

Meanwhile, Narain Dutt, a union leader, said, “The administration has not come forward for any talks to resolve the issue. They are trying to downplay our protest, therefore, we have to march towards CM residence to press our demand to pardon Manjit.”

The Patiala Police have stepped up security near the CM residence.

It is a fight for truth: Manjit

Manjit Singh Dhaner, who has been awarded life imprisonment allegedly in a false murder case, said the protest was a fight for the facticity. Talking to Tribune, Manjit said he was falsely implicated in the case for raising voice for justice to a girl who was raped and murdered. “It was an attack on ideology. To sentence me was an attempt to deter people from raising their voice against injustice.”

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