RAI-KE-KALAN: This small village with a population of 5,500 people, which is barely six km from Badal village in Lambi constituency of Muktsar district of the Punjab, has become the saviour of protests against the ruling Badal family.
All the political parties now are making a beeline to the village in order to cash-in on the anti-Badal sentiment. In last October, Suwidha centre employees were injured in police clash during their march to Badal village. Thus the protestors, mostly women, had rushed to this village to protect themselves from police ‘brutality’. The villagers gave them a safe heaven and warned the police against entering the village for the crackdown on protestors.
“We have decided to help organisations or persons which are protesting against the government. It is right of the people to raise their voice against the injustice meted out to them,’’ says Jagvir Singh Sandhu Senior vice-president of the village committee.
At the same time, the villagers are not against any political party.
“We do not support any political party. The villagers can vote to candidates of their choice or can be aligned to any political party. However, we will not allow any atrocities to anyone. On that front, we are united,’’ he said.
And one can see flags of all political parties — Shiromani Akali Dal, Congress and AAP — in the village beside the posters of their leaders on the walls of the houses.
“Thus now it is decided by the village that anyone comes and needs our help we will provide them with accommodation, food and daily needs besides their safety from the police,’’ says Gurtaj Singh a villager.