Farmers call for Bharat Bandh on March 26

As part of its next programme from March 15 to 28, the SKM has planned several protests, which include burning of the farm laws during Holi, reports Asian Lite News

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions, on Wednesday called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on March 26, when their agitation against the three Central farm laws will complete four months on the borders of the national capital.

As part of its next agenda and programme from March 15 to 28, the SKM has planned several protests, which include “burning of anti-farmer laws during Holika Dehan”.

The SKM said that the farmers along with trade unions will protest the surge in fuel prices and privatisation of railways on March 15, which will be observed as anti-corporate and anti-government day.

The farmers’ will also submit a memorandum to the SDMs and DMs against the rising diesel, petrol and LPG prices, along with other essential commodities.

On March 17, a joint convention will be organised with the trade unions and other groups to chalk out the roadmap for the success of the nationwide shutdown on March 26.

On March 19, the farmers will observe ‘Mandi Bachao-Kheti Bachao’ day. The SKM has also decided to celebrate ‘Shaheedi divas’ on March 23.

Following Red Fort violence, which sullied the image of the so-far peaceful protest by the farmers, the farmers’ unions are focussing more on spreading their message to other states through visits, mahapanchayats etc, instead of staying put only at Delhi borders. So farmers from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh are coming to Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur protest sites, the union leaders are touring other states and some of those who have been at the sites since November-December are going back to take care of crops.

On February 26, the Confederation of All India Traders called a nationwide strike demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

Recently, the farmers observed the 100th day of their ongoing protest and said the protests will go on unless the laws are repealed.

“If needed, we, on lakhs of tractors will reach Parliament to press for the repeal of the three black laws. 3,500 tractors entered Delhi on Republic Day. These were not hired tractors,” Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said in Madhya Pradesh.

MHA blames farmers for R-Day violence

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday accused the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) of violating permission granted for taking out ‘Kisan Tractor Parade’ on the occasion of the Republic Day in the national capital.

Citing reports received from the Delhi Police, Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy informed the Rajya Sabha said the group broke the barricades, in violation of permission granted to them on a mutual acceptance route.

Sanyukt Kisan Morcha’ is a united front of over 40 Indian farmers unions constituted in November last year to coordinate the farmers’ protest against the central government over the three contentious farm laws enacted in September last year during the Monsoon session of Parliament.

In a written reply to the query of Aam Aadmi Party member N.D. Gupta about “nails fixed at farmer’s protest site”, Reddy said the farmers proceeded towards Central Delhi despite being stopped at other barricades inside the city and broke through those barricades as well.

In view of this experience and the manner in which the farmers used tractors as weapons for breaking barricades and injuring policemen, the Minister said the barricades and the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border were strengthened to prevent any possible repeat of conduct displayed on Republic Day.

The MHA said adequate deployment of police personnel is made for providing alternative routes to the general public, ensuring law and order and for ensuring smooth movement of traffic at borders.

Gupta in his question had asked “whether it is a fact that nails were fixed on the road at the farmers’ protest site near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, the name of the agency identified to carry out the above mentioned orders whether such an action on domestic ground against Indian citizens is permitted under any rule, law or protocol.”

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