12 years later, reclaim wasted space in City Beautiful: The Tribune India
Tribune press service
Chandigarh, June 26
More than 12 years after the entry of protesters into Chandigarh was banned, Punjab farmers, led by Samyukta Kisan Morcha leaders, have now reclaimed wasted space.
After 2009, it was the first time that so many farmers were
seen walking on the roads of Chandigarh as they went to the Raj Bhawan to deliver a memorandum to the governor of Punjab. Before that, such a big farmers’ march was observed on the roads of Chandigarh in 2009 when the BKU (Ugrahan), along with other farmers’ unions, protested against the privatization of the PSPCL. When the police tried to stop them from heading towards the Raj Bhawan, it led to bloody clashes. It resulted in injuries to a large number of farmers and police, and 42 farm leaders were arrested in various sections.
Following this demonstration, the entry of any demonstrator was prohibited in Chandigarh. Only gatherings were allowed on the sector 25 assembly ground, which unions often equated to “screaming at the dead” because of the space’s proximity to the cremation site. But the march organized today seems to have demolished the barricades erected more than a decade ago.
“We have recovered the lost space. It is our capital, we will decide where we want to organize a demonstration ”, declared the peasant leader Manjit Dhaner of BKU (Dakunda).