Protests to mark one year of farmers’ agitation on Friday

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Protests to mark one year of farmers’ agitation on Friday

New Delhi: Massive protests on Friday in Delhi, and other places, will mark one year of what the farmers called as “historic struggle” to demand repeal of the three contentious farm laws.

The farmers’ movement had begun with a call of ‘Dilli Chalo’ on November 26-27 last year not just protesting the three farm laws but also putting forth several other demands.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a consortium of 40-odd farmers’ organisations, said in a release: “The fact that such a long struggle has to be waged is a clear reflection on the insensitivity and arrogance of India’s Government towards its toiling citizens.”

“Over the course of twelve months of one of the largest and longest protest movements across the world and in history, crores of people took part in the movement which spread to every state, every district and every village of India,” SKM said.

A meeting of Samyukta Kisan Morcha will be held on November 27 at Singhu Morcha. In the meeting, the farm unions will take a decision regarding the further course of action, the release said.

After an announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Friday to repeal the three farm laws, the cabinet had on Wednesday approved its repeal and also said the formality in the Parliament will be done at the earliest.

Stating that apart from the Government’s decision and Cabinet ratification of repeal of the three anti-farmer laws, the movement achieved several victories for the farmers, common citizens and the nation at large, the SKM statement said: “The movement created a sense of unified identity for the farmers, cutting across regional, religious or caste divisions, farmers are discovering a newfound sense of dignity and pride in their identity as farmers, and their assertion as citizens. It has deepened the roots of democracy and secularism in India.”

The SKM expressed its deep appreciation to all the participants and supporters of the movement, and reiterated once again that the repeal of the three anti-farmer laws is only the first major victory of the movement.

“SKM is awaiting the fulfillment of the remaining legitimate demands of the protesting farmers,” it said.

The still-pending demands of the ‘Kisan Andolan’ include legal right for MSP on all agricultural produce, withdrawal of Electricity Amendments Bill, keeping farmers out of penal provisions of legal regulation related to Delhi air quality, withdrawal of cases against thousands of protesting farmers and dismissal and arrest of Ajay Mishra Teni, the MoS Home, in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

On the call of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, to mark one year of the historic farm movement with massive protests at Delhi morchas and the capitals and district headquarters of distant states, farmers and workers are responding in huge numbers, the statement said.

Thousands of farmers have started arriving at the various morchas in Delhi. In states which are far away from Delhi, preparations are underway to mark the event with rallies, dharnas and other programmes.

A massive Kisan-Mazdoor Mahapanchayat is scheduled to be held in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on November 28.

The Mahapanchayat will be organised under the joint banner of Samyukta Shetkari Kamgaar Morcha (SSKM) comprising over 100 organisations, and will see the participation of farmers, workers and common citizens from across Maharashtra, it said.

The SKM has reiterated its demand raised in its letter to the Prime Minister, that the Union government should announce compensation and rehabilitation to the families of the farmers martyred in the movement, and allocate land at the Singhu morcha to build a memorial in their name.

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