Don’t Treat Protesters as Enemies of the Country: SKM

  • February 12, 2024

Groundxero | 12th February, 2024


The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which led the historic farmers’ struggle in 2020-21 against the three pro-corporate farm laws enacted by the Union government has expressed its strong discontent and anger against the dictatorial manner in which the Modi government is handling the democratic mode of protests of the farmers by erecting iron nails, barbed wires and concrete barricades in the Highways in Punjab and Delhi borders. The administration has imposed section 144 in and around Delhi and Haryana and is creating an atmosphere of terror to frighten off the people. The Modi Government is treating protesters as if they are enemies of the country, SKM said in a press statement, today.


A team of three Union ministers on Monday evening have begun talks in Chandigarh with farmer leaders in a bid to dissuade them from their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on February 13 to press the Union government for enactment of a law on minimum support price (MSP) for all crops. Besides a legal guarantee for MSP, the other core demands of the farmers are implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, waiver of farm debt, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence etc.


Tractor-trolleys in large numbers have set out from different parts of Punjab to join the planned farmers’ march towards Delhi. The Haryana government has also imposed section 144 of the CrPC in as many as 15 districts, prohibiting the assembly of five or more people and banning any kind of demonstration or march with tractor-trolleys. Haryana has fortified the state’s border with Punjab at many places using concrete blocks, iron nails and barbed wire to scuttle the proposed march.


Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been imposed for 30 days till March 12 in the national capital in view of the ‘Delhi Chalo March’. More than 5,000 security personnel have been deployed along its border with other states.


SKM has clarified earlier that it has not given the call to Delhi Chalo on 13th February and SKM has nothing to do with this protest action. However, it stressed that organisations other than SKM have the right to protest and it is the responsibility of the Union Government to treat such protests in democratic manners instead of adhering to excessive state repression.


In Madhya Pradesh, five state leaders of SKM including Kisan Sabha leader Ram Narayan Kuraria, his wife and AIDWA Leader Adv. Anjana Kuraria, Kisan Sangharsha samithi leader Adv. Aradhana Bhargava, BKU (Tikait) leader Anil Yadav, NAPM leader Rajkumar Sinha were arrested and jailed under section 151 of CRPC. Many activists were arrested in various parts of the state.


Earlier today, around 100 farmers from Karnataka, who were travelling in a train to Delhi to participate in the protest march on February 13, were stopped at Bhopal by the state police and detained. Karnataka state CM Siddaramaiah took to X and condemned the arrest of farmers from the state in Bhopal and urged the Madhya Pradesh government to release them immediately.


“The efforts to suppress the people’s protest will be in vain in the context of the emerging struggles across India on the livelihood demands of people”, said the SKM. It reminded the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav that India has a Constitution that enshrines the right to protest for all the citizens. SKM has appealed to all the political parties and the class and mass organisations of all sections to condemn this highhandedness by the Modi administration.


SKM urged PM Modi to clarify why his government is not ready for discussion with the platforms of farmers and workers in the context of the countrywide Grameen Bandh and Industrial/ Sectoral Strike call on 16th February 2024 on the demands of people’s livelihood? It said that the repression by the Union and the state governments under the BJP will be rebuffed by the people, and the farmers and workers with the support of all sections of the people will ensure the 16th February 2024 Industrial/ Sectoral Strike and Grameen bandh are massive, vibrant and successful.


Give up Dictatorial Modes Against Farmers’ Protest


Don’t Treat Protesters as Enemies of the Country


Appeal All the Political Parties to Condemn the High-handedness


Why No Discussion Ahead of 16 February 2024 Countrywide Protest Action?


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