Lucknow: Intensifying their protest against the Centre’s controversial agri laws, farmers in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday evening burnt copies of the new farm laws on the occasion of Lohri festival in several places, including Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sonbhadra, Banda, Mahoba, Chandauli, Varanasi, Meerut, Shamli, Baghpat, Saharanpur and Muzzafarnagar.
The farmers also shouted slogans against the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre government for not accepting their demands. They slammed the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for issuing legal notices to farmers and misusing the stringent Goondas Act to stop farmers in the state from protesting against the three contentious farm laws.
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The farmers, including women, under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), UP, UP Workers’ Front, Bundelkhand Kisan Union, Mazdoor Kisan Manch, Kisan Mahasabha, Bhartiya Kisan Union- Bhanu group and Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangthan held protests at several places and burnt copies of new agri laws.
“We burnt the copies of the farm laws as a mark of protest against these draconian laws,” said Brij Bihari, general secretary of Mazdoor Kisan Manch, adding that until the Centre accepts all the demands of farmers, their agitation will continue.
Farmers in Bundelkhand area held a protest at the Ashok Lat tri-section at the Banda district headquarters in the evening and burnt copies of the new farm laws under the banner Bundelkhand Kisan Union.
"Our protest on the issue would continue despite the Supreme Court constituting a committee and putting the new laws on hold. This is a ‘do or die’ battle for us," Vimal Kumar Sharma, president of union told NewsClick, adding that the farmers won't agree to anything less than the repeal of the agri laws.
While burning copies of the three laws in Bahraich, a farmer said: “We will not accept these laws at any cost as they are not in the interest of the farming community and the government should repeal these.”
Farmer leaders welcomed the Supreme Court’s order to stay the implementation of the three farm laws on Tuesday but said they would not call off their protest until these are repealed.
BKU leaders, along with thousands of supporters who have been camping at UP Gate in Ghazipur for the last 42 days, also burned copies of the three farm laws on the occasion of Lohri. They said they won't = participate in the Supreme Court-appointed committee.
Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson of BKU, said: "We are not going to call off the protest until the government rolls back these three draconian laws which are not in favour of farmers and also makes a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) for our produce."
When asked if farmers would participate in the panel formed by the Supreme Court, Tikait said: "We will discuss the issue in the core committee of farmers. And we will also go for the meeting with the government scheduled on January 15."
Tikait appealed to farmers to participate in a tractor parade in large numbers on January 26 on the occasion of Republic Day.
FARMERS TO GHERAO UP RAJ BHAVAN
After burning copies of three agri farms, farmer organisations under the aegis of BKU are gearing up to ‘gherao’ Uttar Pradesh Raj Bhavan in Lucknow on January 23
BKU spokesperson Dharmendra Malik in a statement said the agitating farmers would also burn copies of farm legislation on that day, adding that the BKU executive committee, in a meeting at Ghazipur-UP Gate border, also decided to observe January 18 as Mahila Kisan Divas (Women Farmers’ Day) during which the womenfolk from villages would lead the ongoing protests against the government.