As the farmers’ movement enters its 12th day, the support from the civil society towards the protesting farmers is unprecedented. Over the last few days, many celebrities from the field of Literature, Entertainment, and sports have announced the return of state honours like Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Arjun Awards. Many athletes have also stood with the farmers. On Sunday, Boxer Vijendra Singh had stated that he will return his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award if new farm laws were not taken back.
Today 30 sportspersons from Punjab marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan and do a sit-in protest outside and return their awards to the President. But they were stopped midway by the Delhi Police. Among them was two-time Asian Games gold-winning former Kartar Singh.
These sportspersons wanted to return their awards to the President in solidarity with farmers who are protesting against the government’s farm laws. Delhi Police has increased security at Haryana and Uttar Pradesh border. Farmers have warned if their demands are not met they will intensify the agitation and shut all the Delhi borders.
Prominent among them are Arjuna awardee Sajjan Singh Cheema, Padamshri Kartar Singh, Olympic gold medalist Gurnail Singh, Indian hockey caption Rajbir Singh. In all, they will be 150 sportspersons returning their awards.
The athletes, who reached Delhi on Sunday, began their march from the Press Club of India but were halted near Krishi Bhavan by the police and sent back.
Delhi Chief Minister had also visited the farmer at the Singhu border. Aam Admi Party (AAP) has also given their support to the Bharat bandh call given by the farmer organisations on 8th December.