Other leaders who were taken into preventive custody include Gurmeet Singh Mangat, Manjit Singh Rai and Harwinder Singh.

Farm Leaders Detained in Coimbatore En Route Kalash Yatra, Sparking Controversy

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In a development that sparked controversy, Tamil Nadu police detained several Punjab farm union leaders, including Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Morcha secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher, upon their arrival in Coimbatore on Sunday. The detention occurred as the leaders landed to participate in a planned kalash yatra honoring deceased farmer Shubh Karan Singh in Tamil Nadu. Shubh Karan lost his life during the farmers’ agitation at Khanauri border on February 21.

Accompanied by a four-member delegation of farm union leaders, Pandher and others had arrived in Coimbatore with intentions to participate in the kalash yatra, which had been scheduled to take place in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry in the upcoming week.

Apart from Pandher, the detained leaders included Gurmeet Singh Mangat, Manjit Singh Rai, and Harwinder Singh. Although they were released later in the evening, their detention stirred controversy and drew attention to the ongoing farmer protests in India.

Before commencing the yatra, the farm union leaders had planned to hold a protest outside the office of the Coimbatore district collector, demanding a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the Union government. This protest was aligned with a nationwide call to burn effigies of the Union government on April 7. However, Tamil Nadu police intervened and prevented the protest from taking place, subsequently detaining the Punjab farm union leaders and taking them to the nearest police station.

Prior to his detention, Gurmeet Singh Mangat asserted, “The fight to save farmers will continue. We are not scared of arrest at all. We will hold kalash yatra tomorrow,” indicating the determination of the farm leaders despite the obstacles they faced.

The incident underscores the tensions surrounding the farmer protests and the broader demands for agricultural reforms, including legal guarantees for MSP. It also highlights the clash between protesters and authorities in different regions of India.

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