August 12, 2022
Kisan Andolan: Dreamland becomes the new venue for protests in Punjab

Kisan Andolan Panjab: Dreamland means the land of dreams. But what is happening outside Dreamland in Sangrur, Punjab is nothing less than a nightmare. In fact, there is a private colony named Dreamland in Sangrur, Punjab, in which Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann also has a private house. For this reason, this Dreamland remains in focus these days. On the evening of July 15, a protester named Gurjit Singh had consumed insecticide outside the main gate of ‘Dreamland’, was rushed to the hospital and was rescued. But the same evening, another protester tried to touch the running wire in the power supply near Dreamland, but luckily the power supply was off at that time.

The protester then also tried to hang his turban from the branch of a tree, but his friends intervened and saved him. On the afternoon of July 16, another protester ingested some poisonous substance in the same area and was taken to Rajindra Medical College in Patiala. He too survived. In this way, in 24 hours, three people have tried to commit suicide outside that colony. When campaigning for the by-election was going on in Sangrur in June, six women protesters had also climbed a water tank near the colony. By the way, these days the Chief Minister rarely comes to this house.

Around 150 protesters have been sitting outside Dreamland Colony since May 8. These are the people who passed the written test as well as the physical test in 2016-17 for the job of constable in Punjab Police but were put in the waiting list. He claims that he was promised a job by the previous Congress government and later by the Aam Aadmi Party during the election campaign. Unemployed people seeking the job of Physical Training Instructor (PTI) in the Education Department also protest outside Dreamland Colony on regular basis.

Water cannons were used by the police to disperse them on 24 July. The protesters say they have been fighting for jobs since 2011. A total of 646 jobs were advertised by the then Akali government. But instead of declaring the merit list they made Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) mandatory. Whereas TET was not a prerequisite before the job advertisement was published. AAP leaders had assured jobs soon after coming to power, but nothing was done.

Similarly, more than 150 nurses employed in the ward during the first and second wave of corona in Rajindra Medical College, Patiala are also sitting on an indefinite dharna from May 4 outside the gate of this colony. He was laid off from work during the second wave of Corona. Old age unemployed unions demanding jobs are also among the protesters. Protests are becoming more common outside Dreamland Society. Barriers have been put up near the main gate of the colony, where a large number of policemen are always present on the spot for Mann’s security. The street where the CM’s house is located is full of security personnel.

Nearby farmers in the area say that the unemployed, who are looking for jobs in the police and health department, have put up their tents outside the main gate of the colony. A tent has a flag of the Kisan Sangh and this union has also provided them with two tractor trolleys for use when it rains. Most of the protest workers come in the morning and go back in the evening. These people bring their food with them. Those who stay overnight visit the nearby Gurudwara for langar. A large plastic water tank has been placed near the protest site. The women protesters reported that they were allowed to use the toilets inside Dreamland Colony near the security cabin.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has his ancestral home in Satoj village of Sunam constituency. However, after becoming an MP for the second time in 2019, he lived in Dreamland Colony. But now he rarely comes here. But since it is also their home, the protestors keep gathering. This trend of ‘Pucca’ picketing started after the farmers’ movement and now it is also a new thing to hold a sit-in outside the CM’s house who are looking for a job in the education department.

Raman Kumar Mann, president of Overage Berojgar Union, has his ancestral home in Satoj village of Sunam constituency. However, after becoming an MP for the second time in 2019, he lived in Dreamland Colony. He rarely comes here these days. But since it is also their home, protestors gather here. This trend of permanent dharna started after the farmers movement and now dharna outside the CM’s house has also become a new trend.

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