Farm Leaders Invite Youth Leader Lakha Sidhana to Strengthen Agitation

Lakha Sidhana addressing a rally in Punjab's Mehraj village on February 23, 2021. Photo: Screengrab
Lakha Sidhana addressing a rally in Punjab’s Mehraj village on February 23, 2021. Photo: Screengrab

Lakha Sidhana and Deep Sidhu have been the main youth leaders who mobilized hundreds of thousands of people from Punjab and attracted Punjabis who live abroad to support the traditional farm leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).

By Rakesh Raman

The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders who are spearheading the farmers’ protests have invited youth leader and social activist from Punjab Lakhvir Singh (a.k.a. Lakha Sidhana) to support the protests around Delhi.

An accused in the alleged incident of Republic Day (January 26) violence related to farmers’ protests in Delhi, Lakha Sidhana has been evading arrest by Delhi Police, which had announced a Rs. 1 lakh reward to know his whereabouts.

Earlier, Lakha Sidhana led a huge rally in Punjab’s Mehraj village on February 23 to give boost to the farmers’ agitation which is losing steam. Police did not arrest him. The gangster-turned-activist Sidhana has been holding multiple protest rallies in support of farmers for the past over 6 months.

The SKM leaders said today (April 1) that Lakha Sidhana will be free to openly address the audience at protest sites around Delhi and they will oppose any move by the police to arrest him.

The farm leaders also said that the youth leader Sidhana will be made a member of a new team of intellectuals and celebrities, which will coordinate with the SKM to make new plans for the movement. Although the date for his appearance at the protest site has not been announced, the SKM leaders said that he can come at any time to join the protest.

They also said that they can similarly consider the participation of an equally popular youth leader and Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu who is in jail because of his alleged involvement in the January 26 violence at the Red Fort as part of the farmers’ protests.

Lakha Sidhana and Deep Sidhu have been the main youth leaders who mobilized hundreds of thousands of people from Punjab and attracted Punjabis who live abroad to support the traditional farm leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).

Both these young leaders always advised their followers to remain peaceful and respectful to old leaders. But after the January 26 incident at Red Fort, the SKM leaders had openly censured Lakha Sidhana and Deep Sidhu and disowned them so that police could arrest them.

Their decision to invite Lakha Sidhana back to the protest is being hailed as a positive step for the agitation. Supporters of farm agitation believe that it will further add momentum to the struggle if the SKM leaders could get Deep Sidhu released from jail and take him back to the protest team.

Thousands of Indian farmers – mainly from Punjab – have been protesting since November 2020 against the new farm laws introduced by the government headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi. They expect the Modi government to repeal these laws, but the government has refused to accept farmers’ demands.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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