Accusing the government of adopting “repressive” measures against them, protesting farmers Sunday announced a series of events from February 23 to 27 to intensify their agitation against the three new agricultural laws.
The farmers also said they will soon devise a strategy to keep the protest going for a long time. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is spearheading the protests, said at a press conference that under their proposed escalation programme, February 23 will be observed as ‘Pagadi Sambhal Diwas’ and February 24 as ‘Daman Virodhi Diwas’, essentially to underline that farmers must be respected and no “repressive measures” should be taken against them.
The Morcha said February 26 will be observed as ‘Yuva Kisan Diwas’ (youth farmers day) and February 27 as ‘Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Divws’ (farmer-labourer unity day).
“The government is adopting all the repressive measures, mischief and manipulations including arrests, detentions and registration of cases against the protesters. The Singhu border has been fortified and appears to be an international border,” farmer leader Yogendra Yadav said.
A long-term plan for the movement will be discussed in view of the Parliament session from March 8, and the strategy will be shared in the next meeting of SKM, he said.
Another Morcha leader, Darshan Pal, also alleged “repression” by the government. He said around 32 people have got bail out of the 122 arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the violence and vandalism in the national capital during the tractor rally on Republic Day.
On Thursday, farmers had held a nationwide ‘rai roko’ (rail blockade) to protest against the three laws. During the protest announced by SKM, trains were stopped at places, some were cancelled or rerouted.
This was the third major demonstration by farmers, following the Republic Day tractor rally and the ‘chakka jam’ on February 6.
Farm laws a “death warrant” for farmers: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a meeting with farmer leaders, on Sunday said that the three farm laws are a “death warrant” for the farmers.
Kejriwal had invited farmer leaders from Western Uttar Pradesh for lunch at the Delhi Assembly.
“The three anti-farmer laws are death warrant for the farmers. If these laws are implemented, then the agriculture of India will go into the hands of some industrialists and the farmers will be devastated,” the CM said.
He added that if these laws are implemented, the farmers of India will become labourers in their own land. He also demanded that the central government immediately withdraw all the three “black laws” and the legal guarantee of MSP be granted to all the 23 crops following the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
The meeting was attended by over 40 farmer leaders from western UP.
Talking to the media, farmer leader Rohit Jakhar of Rashtriya Jat Mahasangh said that while the UP government cut electricity and water supply at the Ghazipur protest site, Kejriwal’s government supported the farmers’ protest by providing them water and toilets.
“Our support will go to those who will talk about our problems. The BJP government has hurt our self-respect, we will give our reply through our votes,” Jakhar said.
[With inputs from PTI]
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