Punjab Panchayats called residents to join farmers protest or pay fine

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Punjab Panchayats have called upon their residents to join the farm protests on the borders of Delhi or pay a fine instead.

Punjab Panchayats of at least five villages in Malwa regions of Punjab passed such resolutions, in which each household would have to send at least one male member for a week to the protest, in the last 24 hours. Though families that do not participate have been asked to pay a fine if they do not send a member, panchayats said these were just to motivate households to participate.

Farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi since November 26, against three contentious laws passed by the Centre last year. The latest call for support has come in the wake of the protestors coming under criticism over isolated incidents of violence in Delhi during their tractor parade on Republic Day.

Avtar Singh, sarpanch of Kararwala village in Bathinda district, said the entire village had given the call for support in a voice vote. Villagers, he said, decided that a household would have to pay Rs. 2,100 the panchayat if none of its members goes to the protests. He said residents had been asked not to indulge in any kind of nuisance and not create trouble by drinking. He said if anyone would be drinking. He said if anyone would be found indulging in such acts, they would be fined for Rs. 5,100. He said the first jatha of 26 persons from their village left for Delhi on Saturday. He said they would remain there for a week and then the next jatha will leave from the village.

Karnali Singh, sarpanch of Sivan village in Kotkapura block of Faridkot district, said villages unanimously decided to send a member from every household in the protest and set a fine of Rs. 500, which will be used for the protests.

The panchayat of Thikriwal village in Barnala district, the native village of freedom fighter Sewa Singh Thikriwalm too passed such a resolution. A 25-member jatha will leave the village regularly, said sarpanch Mohinder Singh.

Likewise, the gram panchayats of Barey village in Budhlada block of Mansa and panchayat of Natheha village in Bathinda district too passed resolutions, asking residents to reach Delhi borders in support of protesting farmers.

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