SKM writes to PM, condemns State repression unleashed on ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest


  • February 13, 2024
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The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which led the historic farmers’ struggle in 2020-21, has strongly condemned the State repression on farmers, and sent a letter to the Prime Minister demanding withdrawal  of forces, ensure the rights of farmers to organise Delhi Chalo protest and resolve the demands of the farmers and workers struggle through discussions. It warned the Modi Government that the Kisan Movement will stand united and resist any attack on democratic rights to protest.

 

Groundxero| 13th 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 strongly protested the Modi Government for resorting to excessive use of State power to suppress the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march of various farmers’ organisations.  SKM condemned the State repression unleashed on protesting farmers at Shambhu Border by the BJP state government in Haryana. The Haryana police, today, resorted to brutal lathi charge on the protestors, used rubber bullet and burst tear gas shells to prevent the farmers from heading towards Delhi. SKM said that it is surprising that drones were used to drop tear gas shells over the farmers by the administration.

 

The “Delhi Chalo” protest march initiated by multiple farmers’ organisations commenced on Tuesday from Punjab’s Fatehgarh Sahib, after the second round of talks in Chandigarh on Monday evening, between a team of Union ministers and farmer leaders failed to reach any agreement on the core demands raised by the farmer unions.

 

Besides a legal guarantee of MSP for crops, the other main demands of the farmers are implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s formula on determining MSP, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, waiver of farm debt, withdrawal of police cases and “justice” for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence etc.

 

SKM said that unleashing police and armed security forces to attack the peaceful struggle of farmers reveals that the Modi Government has lost the confidence of the people. It added, “In a democratic society every citizen has the right to protest peacefully. The Government has the responsibility to resolve the burning issues of each section of the people and address the concrete demands to protect their livelihood.”

 

SKM warned the Modi government not to treat the people who are forced to come to the street on their genuine demands as the enemies of the government or the country. It reminded the government that the main demand of the farmers — MSP@C2+50% — had been the promise of BJP and the present Prime Minister in the election manifesto of 2014, and even after 10 years the promise was not implemented.

 

SKM has also written a letter to the Prime Minister protesting against the repression unleashed on farmers today at Punjab border, unleashing lathi charge, rubber bullet and tear gas shelling making many injured. It urged the PM to immediately withdraw the forces and protect the rights of farmers to organise Delhi Chalo protest and resolve the farmers and workers struggle through discussions. “We strongly want to make it clear that the Kisan Movement in India is united and single-minded and will resist any such act of authoritarianism and excessive use of state power”, said the letter to the PM.

 

SKM has also issued an appeal to all like-minded organisations to come forward to build a united issue-based struggle on common demands. It said that the emergence of SKM as an issue based united movement that had fought the anti farmer pro-corporate 3 farm laws and in the process farmers got united and were successful with the active support of the workers and trade union movement of the country in pushing back the govt.

 

SKM called it regrettable that for various reasons, other than need of farmers struggle against corporate attacks, there was disunity among the constituent organisations and that needs to be addressed by all concerned, especially in the face of renewed corporate led attacks by the Govt. of India on farmer’s incomes and freedom. It said that the Union Govt. desires to depict the Kisan movement as divided and trying to divert people’s attention.

 

The farmer unions platform has called on all its member organisations and their units across India to strongly protest against the attack on farmers in Punjab on 16th February 2024 in all the villages across India and make the Grameen Bandh and Industrial/ Sectoral Strike called by it more massive, extensive and successful.

 

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