Release of all political prisoners is one of our demands: In conversation with Sukhdarshan Natt of Punjab Kisan Union

As farmers continue to protest against the Centre's farm bills, they have also raised various other issues, one of them being a demand for the release of all political prisoners; farmers, activists, intellectuals, anybody wrongfully imprisoned in recent times.

Bhumika Saraswati December 09, 2020 22:54:57 IST

"When the division of Punjab happened, most of the people came from Pakistan's Punjab. Now, if any government asks them to bring their parent’s birth certificate, those lakhs and lakhs of Punjabis whose first generation was born in Pakistan’s Punjab, how will they be able to bring their birth certificate?" asks Sukhdarshan Natt, 61, a protestor from the Punjab Kisan Union.

As farmers continue to protest against the Centre's farm bills, they have also raised various other issues, one of them being a demand for the release of all political prisoners; farmers, activists, intellectuals, anybody wrongfully imprisoned in recent times.

Referencing the time groups of Punjabis supported the Shaheen Bagh protestors, Natt says that they did so as it was evident that the government was targeting a minority. The elderly protestor feels that the country has now been equated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, criticism of whom has become something of a crime. Observing that an 'accusation like this could be made against anyone', he highlights the worrying trend of intolerance in the country.

"We have come to this honest demand to the government, that all the intellectuals who have been accused in the false cases, doesn’t matter if they are farmers or revolutionaries, they have been wrongly involved and sent to jail. So, those cases should be withdrawn and they should be freed," he added.

Meanwhile, following another round of talks with the Centre today, the farmers have rejected the government proposals and also declared that protests will be intensified.

As of now, the protest will be extended to massive dharnas all over the country, a boycott of all things Reliance Jio and related, as well as a block of all Jaipur-Delhi-Agra highways on 12th.

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