Taking a cue

Vinayak Padmadeo

New Delhi, May 5

There were already signs from Day 2 of the protest against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh that the wrestlers, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, came better

prepared than the last they sat at a dharna at Jantar Mantar.

This resolve was a result of a few Bhartiya Kisan Union representatives who have become key members of the protest which will complete two weeks tomorrow.

With BKU’s chief Naresh Tikait and spokesperson Rakesh visiting the protest site, alongside several khap leaders, including Surinder Solanki, who heads the 360 Palam Khap, the protest that started with mere mattresses is starting to bloom like the farmers’ protest.

I want to ask those people who are saying this protest has turned political, what would you do if your sisters or daughters suffered like this. Sometimes they are linking it to a caste, or with some party. Prime Minister and Home Minister should take cognizance and end this matter. Then no party will come. Give us justice and we will return the next day. —Bajrang Puna

Waterproof tents were brought in, besides they also have a generator to help run the fans. The folding beds, over which a scuffle broke out between the wrestlers and the Delhi Police, were another addition at the protest site.

“We kept on adding layers to the tent, and extended the barricades to accommodate the sitting area for visitors before anyone could react,” said a volunteer.

And today, Bajrang disclosed that they have formed two committees to conduct this long-drawn-out fight. One committee of 30-plus members will decide how to prolong the fight. It will include representatives from khaps, and farmer, labour, women and student unions. Also, a nine-member committee will only concentrate on wrestling.

“Vinesh is meeting the legal team. Whatever comes of it in terms of a decision we will let you know by tomorrow,” Bajrang said. “One thing that I can definitely say is that we have formed committees that will decide the future course of action. Our job is to fight, it is their job to make decisions,” he added.

‘Khaps will decide’

Representatives of major khaps from in and around Delhi, Haryana and Tikait’s Baliyan Khap have called for a meeting at Jantar Mantar on Sunday. Bajrang said that their decision will be final.

“They have supported us before as well and we are thankful to all the khap panchayats because we are all from farming families. Some khaps met yesterday and they will come here on May 7 as well. Whatever they will decide, we will let you know,” Bajrang said.

“Nobody is bigger than society. Who elects the government? We do so when our society tells us to leave, then we will go. But let me tell you those who are also fighting for the respect of women, they will never back down,” he added.

‘We are prisoners’

Bajrang also reiterated as to how Brij Bhushan, against whom two FIRs have been registered, is still free. “We are not worried. They will beat us, let them. You have seen what the police are doing. The accused is moving freely and here we have been barricaded like prisoners,” he said.

“The police have barricaded all the borders of Delhi. A lot of people are sitting at the border and here the police are misleading people who want to come. I will request the police that please stand for justice as you all have women in the family. We will not back down. If need be we will start all over from district court as we have the backing of our country,” he added.

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