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Sandeep Singh: Looking For Jorawar Singh Amidst Government And Police Silence
Singh has been missing since the January 26th Republic Day tractor rally in Delhi
February 8, 2021 | 2 min. read
Paramjeet Kaur sits quietly on a cot in her home’s courtyard. Her five-year-old son plays with a wooden tractor in the background, seemingly oblivious to the dire situation the family finds itself in.
In her hand is a photograph of her father, 75-year-old Jorawar Singh. He has been missing since the January 26th Republic Day tractor rally in Delhi.
The family owns less than 3 acres of land in Ikolaha village in Punjab’s Ludhiana district, “he loved his land more than anything else”, Paramjeet Kaur sighs.
Since the Modi government brought the three farm bills, Jorawar Singh had been protesting. He was even a part of the initial railway blockades in Punjab when the farm unions were in their early stages of mobilizing what would become one of the largest protests in human history.
He used to knock on the doors of others in the village, encouraging everyone to join the farmers’ protest. Paramjeet Kaur talks about her father’s dedication to the agitation, “my father first blocked railway tracks, he sat outside Reliance petrol pumps, he camped at Shambu border in late November, and then he marched to the center - answering the farm unions’ Delhi Chalo call.”
His commitment to the cause is well known in the area, and his disappearance has many concerned. “A man from our neighboring village claimed that my father was last seen on January 26. He said that older people had walked in Delhi,” Paramjeet Kaur continues, getting emotional, “I am told police lathi-charged peacefully protesting farmers. Many got injured and were sent to hospital while others were arrested,” she starts weeping, showing her father’s picture, “my father is 75 years old, please help me find him.”
Highlighting a common concern for those with missing loved ones, Paramjeet Kaur shares that she even checked the Delhi Police lists of arrested farmers but her father’s name is not there, “It is being said that not every arrested farmer’s name is recorded.”
She broke into tears and with folded handed asked me again to help her father, “ I told farm unions that my father went with them so it’s their responsibility”, however she claims that the farm union leader with whom her father went with had not attended to her phone call. Although, she did talk to Baldev Singh Sirsa and others in the farm unions.
Paramjeet has not been contacted by anyone from the central or state governments, even though she has registered a missing person’s report with the police.
Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira has come out in support of Jorawar Singh, including with a tweet, and called Jorawar Singh’s family promising that he will raise the issue of missing persons.
It is a small reassurance for what is a desperate situation for Paramjeet Kaur as she also fights a divorce legal battle. One of her brothers passed away a few years ago, as well as her mother last year. Her father Jorawar Singh was the only support she had.
Sandeep Singh hails from Machhiwara, Punjab. As an independent journalist, he has worked with many prominent Indian news organizations. Sandeep has been following the farmer’s protest in Punjab since its onset and traveled with them to Delhi. He spends most of his time at the Singhu border protest site. You can follow Sandeep on Twitter @Punyaab
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