Samyukta Kisan Morcha Press Release
304th day, 26th September 2021
Ten long months of peaceful, determined, hopeful and patient protests by farmers of India in the face of many adversities and attacks – More than 605 farmers martyred in the farmers’ agitation so far – Modi Government is exhibiting extreme undemocratic and callous behaviour, and will bear consequences – Farmers’ movement will continue until all demands are met – Tomorrow is the historic Bharat Bandh called by the farmers’ movement and preparations have been made to the fullest extent possible.SKM
BJP’s undemocratic authoritarian mindset exemplified by a Union Minister of State in Uttar Pradesh, with an open threat issued by the Minister in a public meeting against protesting farmers and their leaders – Meanwhile, BJP State President in Haryana calls protesting farmers as ‘goondas’ of a farmer leader – SKM strongly condemns the statements and behaviour of these BJP leaders, and demands that they retract these objectionable statements
Andhra Pradesh government extends support to the farmers’ movement yet again – Ruling LDF in Kerala had already issued a support statement earlier – Several more political parties including Indian National Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party, Bahujan Samaj Party express their support and solidarity
Protests continue against BJP leaders including in Uttar Pradesh – Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had to cancel a program in Ambala owing to farmers’ protest
Birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on September 28th will be marked by the farmers’ movement – SKM invites youth and students to join in large numbers at the morchas to mark the day
It was on November 26th 2020 that lakhs of farmers, despite numerous obstacles placed by BJP governments in the Centre and states, reached Delhi’s borders last year, to express their concerns and resistance towards 3 anti-farmer, pro-corporate laws that the Union Government thrust on farmers of the country, and to secure a legal entitlement for remunerative MSP for themselves. They were stopped by Police of BJP governments placing barricades on the highways, forcing them to squat and continue their protest where they were stopped. It has been ten long months of this historic protest. Protesting farmers have remained peaceful, determined, hopeful and patient in the face of many adversities and attacks. They have exhibited their extraordinary organising capabilities by putting up a united struggle in a ‘do or die’ mode. More than 605 farmers have been martyred in this agitation so far, including two deaths related to police brutalities and some suicides too. Hundreds of cases have been slapped over the past many months on thousands of protestors, including with serious charges like sedition and attempt to murder. Farmers have witnessed officials commanding police to “break the farmers’ heads”, but have continued in an undeterred fashion their struggle for justice and survival. “Modi government is behaving in an extremely undemocratic and inhuman fashion against farmers, and BJP will certainly bear the consequences of this. Meanwhile, the agitation will continue in a stronger fashion until all the demands of the farmers are met”, said SKM.
It was on September 27th that President Shri Ram Nath Kovind assented to and brought into force the 3 anti-farmer black laws last year. Tomorrow, there will be a total Bharat Bandh observed around the country from 6am to 4pm. Farmer unions along with their supporters including trade unions, have made detailed plans to ensure that life remains suspended tomorrow across the country, except for emergency services. SKM had put out detailed guidelines and called for complete peace during the bandh. SKM has also put out an appeal to all Indians to join the Bandh tomorrow. It is a day to express support to the annadaatas of the country, the ones who keep all Indians alive.
The Andhra Pradesh government, led by YSR Congress Party, expressed its support to the Bandh call of SKM and announced that state road transport buses will be kept off the roads till 27th afternoon, from 26th night. AP government has lent such solidarity to the farmer movement in the past too. In Kerala, the ruling LDF has also supported the hartal on 27th. Punjab’s new Chief Minister extended his support, and in Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and RJD have been jointly planning for the success of the Bharat Bandh. In Tamil Nadu, the ruling DMK supports the bandh.
So far, Left Parties like CPI-M, CPI, AIFB, RSP, CPI-ML (Lib), CPI-ML (ND), SUCI(C), MCPI, MCPI(U), RMPI in addition to many other parties like INC, AAP, SP, TDP, JD(S), BSP, NCP, DMK, SAD-Sanyukt, YSRCP, JMM, RJD, Swaraj India and others have extended their support to the Bharat Bandh. On the bandh day (tomorrow), Central Trade Unions have organised a protest rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi at 11am. Several bar associations and local units of All India Lawyers’ Union have extended their support. There was a mashaal juloos in Jaipur yesterday, in addition to such torch processions in Gurgaon and Palwal too. In Mysuru of Karnataka, there was a bike rally organised yesterday. In Patna, a mashaal juloos is planned for this evening.
BJP’s undemocratic authoritarian mindset has been exemplified by a Union Minister of State in Uttar Pradesh, where the Minister issued an open threat in a public meeting against protesting farmers and their leaders. In Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, there was an event organised with so-called farmers by BJP yesterday with the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mr Ajay Mishra Teni coming to participate in the same. Upon hearing plans of a black flag protest by local farmers, UP Police detained under house arrest SKM leaders. However, farmers were undeterred, and confronted the Minister with a large gathering and a black flag protest. The MoS then went ahead with an open threat in his public meeting against the leaders and said that he will not allow them to continue living in the area or anywhere in Uttar Pradesh. SKM condemns these threats of the BJP Minister, that too a Minister for Home Affairs, and demands that he retract the same and apologise. While the behaviour of this MoS was unfortunately no better than that of a bully, both in terms of the threat and the language that the Minister used in his speech, it is deeply ironic to hear that the BJP President of Haryana Mr Om Prakash Dhankar is referring to protesting farmers as goondas of a popular farmer leader of SKM. SKM condemns this, and demands that Mr Dhankar retract his statement and apologise.
A Kisan Mahapanchayat took place in Panipat today with an impressive turnout. Such a Kisan Mahapanchayat was organised in Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh yesterday.
28th September is the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls upon youth and students to join in large numbers at the borders to mark the day at the morchas.
In Haryana’s Ambala, a planned event in village Tepla of the state Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal Khattar had to be cancelled at the last minute, owing to farmers’ protest. In Uttarakhand’s Kela Khera (Udham Singh Nagar district), a state cabinet minister Arvind Pandey had to change routes to avoid local farmers’ black flag protests yesterday. The BJP Minister was sneaked in and out of an event by the police, when farmers gathered to protest. In Kurukshetra of Haryana, the Police slapped cases against 134 persons, with nine farmers named, under various charges when they protested against BJP MP Nayab Singh Saini and local MLA Subhash Sudha on Friday. Around 30 farmers who were detained by the police were released later in the day when hundreds of farmers started to gather in protest.
Haryana government telling the Supreme Court that it will persuade the farmers to remove blockades on the roads is laughable. The Haryana government knows that it is the Haryana Police and Delhi Police who have put up blockades whereas farmers have kept roads on both sides free for traffic at the protest morchas.
Uttar Pradesh farmers are demanding a minimum of Rs. 425 per quintal of sugarcane, even as the state BJP government is planning to announce a hike. It was way back in 2017 that the BJP won elections in the state by promising Rs. 370 per quintal and has not fulfilled its poll promise to this day, point out farmer unions of Uttar Pradesh. There is also the matter of the huge pending arrears to be paid to sugarcane farmers. Farmers have issued an ultimatum that nothing less than Rs. 425 per quintal will be acceptable to them.
The Kabaddi tournament organised by Samyukt Kisan Morcha is continuing at Singhu Border, with much enthusiasm and active participation from locals.
Issued by –
Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dr Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Charuni, Hannan Mollah, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Shivkumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’, Yudhvir Singh, Yogendra Yadav
Samyukta Kisan Morcha