Family members of the farmers who were killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri last month joined the Kisan Mahapanchayat at Eco Garden in Lucknow on Monday.
The family members of the four farmers who were killed when a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by union minister Ajay Mishra, ran over a group of protesting farmers on October 3, were felicitated by the leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) during the huge gathering of farmers in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.
While addressing thousands of farmers, the farmer leaders emphasised the need to arrest and sack union minister Ajay Mishra, for any semblance of justice to be achieved in the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ killings. Protest leaders argued that a fair investigation is not possible otherwise.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader and one of the prominent faces of farmers’ protest Rakesh Tikait warned that if the minister inaugurates a sugar mill in Lakhimpur Kheri, farmers would dump their sugar cane at the district magistrate’s office instead of taking it to the mill. “It doesn’t matter if we have to face losses,” Tikait said.
Tikait also alleged that attempts are being made to make the minister a “hero” from a “katil” (murdrer).
The Mahapanchayat was held in Lucknow two days after Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi announced the withdrawal of the three contentious farm laws.
Tikait said that the withdrawal of the contentious three farm laws was not enough, stressing that farmers had other issues that needed to be resolved, prime among them a law for guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Farmer leaders stressed the fact that what Prime Minister Modi announced is only the first victory of the protesting farmers, and that the government is giving too little even now, even though there were several demands on the table.
The leaders of the historic one-year-long agitation congratulated farmers and workers of India “who unitedly fought a determined struggle so far and urged them to continue the struggle.”
The successful pushback on corporate control over food and farming systems was noted by speakers and citizens were urged to continue in the same spirit, to uphold the consciousness and energies evoked by the farmers’ movement so far.