Sunday, March 28, 2010

Comrade Sadhu Singh Takhtupura

Chandigarh, February 22
Peeved at the alleged protection given to the assassins of kisan leader Sadhu Singh Takhtupura and to carry forward their struggle for the withdrawal of the Badal-Kalia committee recommendations, 22 organisations of farmers and farm workers have decided to launch a statewide phased agitation starting February 24.
These organisations, mostly with Leftist leanings, have given a call for holding on February 24 day long demonstrations outside the offices of deputy commissioners in the state. 
Leaders of various organisations, including the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), the Bharti Kisan Union (Revolutionary), the Bharti Kisan Union, the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, the Kirti Kisan Sabha, the Democratic Kisan Sabha, the Punjab Kisan Sabha, the Khetibari Kisan Vikas Front, the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union and the All-India Khet Mazdoor Union, held a meeting in Ludhiana yesterday to finalise details of the agitation.
Talking to The Tribune, Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Sukhdev Singh Kokri of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) said all participant organisations paid tributes to Sadhu Singh Takhtupura and declared him a martyr of the kisan movement. Tributes were also paid to Zora Singh Chakar who died during the Gurdaspur agitation.
Holding an Akali MLA, considered close to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, besides a few others responsible for the murder of Sadhu Singh Takhtupura, the leaders of these organisations held that the actual culprits were being shielded and efforts were being made to get them a clean chit.
Eyewitnesses had named 12 persons in their statements to the police. Instead of taking action against these 12 persons, the state government had transferred the SSP (Rural) of Amritsar while the sarpanch of Sorrian village, though in safe custody of the police, was yet to be arrested in the case.
By setting up a special investigating team, they alleged, efforts were on to keep the Akali MLA out of the case. All these actions, they held, were indicative of the government’s support to the culprits.
Both Ugrahan and Kokri held that Sadhu Singh Takhtupura was murdered when he was going from village to village to mobilise support for the farmers’ agitation against the recommendations of the Badal-Kalia committee.
The agitation would continue with vigour and a statewide rally against the Badal-Kalia committee report would be held at Jagraon on March 15.

Moga, February 18
Hundreds of people including farmers, trade union leaders and the local villagers attended the cremation of kisan leader Sadhu Singh Takhtupura, organizing secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta) at his native village at Takhtupura in Moga district on Thursday.
He was brutally murdered in broad daylight with iron rods and swords in the border village of Bhindian Saida in Amritsar district on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old Sadhu Singh retired as a teacher in 2000 and has four sons. His elder son passed away recently leaving behind four children.
A senior leader of the BKU Sukhdev Singh Kokri told The Tribune that they had planned to donate Sadhu Singh’s body to a medical college but the doctors refused on the grounds that the police had kept the body for more than 30 hours in their custody without proper care. As such, the body was of no use to them. They had to cremate the body then as per the rituals, he added.
Meanwhile, the kisan union had lodged an FIR at Lopoke police station in Amritsar district in which they had named four suspects including former SAD MLA Veer Singh Lopoke, his son-in-law and SHO Rachpal Singh, sarpanch of Sorian village Kulwinder Singh and chairman of the Block Samiti Sarbhjit Singh Lodhinanagal.
Kokri had alleged that their union was struggling for farmers’ rights in this belt of the state in the Majha region for a long time and these people had clashed with them many a times in the past few years.
Expressing his faint hope of getting justice from the state government, Kokri, while addressing the gathering announced that had decided to launch a state-wide agitation from February 24 onwards. “We will hold massive rallies at all district headquarters across the state demanding the arrest of the culprits,” he said.
It may be mentioned that Takhtupura, on the behalf of BKU, had recently organised a big rally at Ajnala against the police for allegedly killing a youth in custody.

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