Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Farmers call for a grand protest on March 6, will travel to Delhi on buses and trains

Farmers groups on Sunday announced that they will enter a more intense phase of agitation on March 6.

The unions and organisations leading the protests have informed that the farmers will travel to Delhi on buses and trains, The Indian Express reported.

 “On February 13, the Haryana government used tear gas shells, rubber bullets on us…when we wanted to march ahead. Farmers from Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu tried to reach Delhi on the same day, but they were stopped. They continued to attack us every time we tried to march ahead…They [Centre] are telling us repeatedly that we can go by train or bus to lodge our protests in Delhi instead of tractors. So on March 6, states other than Punjab and Haryana will march towards Delhi in buses or trains. Let us see if they allow them to reach or not,” Kisan Mazdoor Morcha coordinator Sarwan Singh Pandher said on Sunday.

“Not only this, on March 10, countrywide rail roko will be done from 12 noon to 4 pm,” said Pandher.

Meanwhile, farmers from Punjab and Haryana would continue their protest at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders, he said.

Pandher publicly announced the decision in front of reporters after attending the final prayer meeting held for Shubhkaran Singh, a 22-year-old protestor who died on February 21.

Singh’s head was injured at Khanauri border linking Punjab and Haryana after police attacked the protestors.

After his death, leaders of the protest decided to put the march to Delhi on hold till February 29.

Since February 13, thousands of protestors have gathered at several locations on the Punjab-Haryana border.

As the protests intensified, the Haryana Police used water cannons, drones and tear gas shells on the protesters who tried to cross the border.

Pandher strongly opposed the narrative run by national media that the protests are supported only by Samyukta Kisan Morcha and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha.

 “The Union government is repeatedly trying to set a narrative that only two farmer unions led by me and Jagjit Singh Dallewal ji [coordinator of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political)] are doing this protest. Hence the protests on March 6 and March 10 will tell them the truth,” he asserted.

Farmers’ groups began the protests to push for a law ensuring a minimum support price for agricultural products.

With a minimum support price, the government buys farm produce for a price of at least one and a half times the production cost spent by the farmers.

Other demands include the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission’s wider recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and compensation for families of farmers who died during the previous farmers’ protests between 2020 and 2021.

The farmers’ charter also demands that the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence-related police cases framed against farmers be withdrawn.

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