Bhopal: With trolleys and tractors in tow, farmers in Madhya Pradesh are all set to intensify their ongoing protest demanding the repeal of three farm laws after the Supreme Court’s order staying the implementation of the laws.
Hearing a writ petition, the Supreme Court on Tuesday (January 12) had constituted a four-member interlocutor committee to end the deadlock between the central government and the farmers over recently passed three farm laws. However, the farmers have rebuffed the apex court’s decision and are continuing their protest till the laws are repealed.
The farmers’ outfits in the Madhya Pradesh including the All India Kisan Sabha, Rastriya Kisan Mazdoor Sanghatan, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Jagrit Kisan Sanghatan and others like the Narmada Bachao Andolan claim that public outrage against the new farm laws have been growing with each passing day and the farmers, irrespective of their ideology and differences, are joining the protest in large numbers across the state.
Meanwhile, districts like Hoshangabad, Gwalior, Bhind, Morena, Indore, Rewa, Khargone, Barwani and others are witnessing strong protests with resident farmers launching indefinite strike since the past two-three weeks, mostly in the krishi mandis (agricultural markets).
Keeping with this, farmers outfits have announced their decision to launch an indefinite protest in Bhopal from January 21 at Karodh Vegetable Mandi despite the BJP-led government’s earlier attempt to quell their movement. Earlier on December 24, MP Police had arrested around half dozen farmer leaders in the state capital where they had gathered in response to a similar call for indefinite strike at the capital’s Neelam Park.
“The joint committee of 12 farmers’ organisations have decided to intensify the protest across the state and carry out tractor rallies in large number on January 18, 23 and 26, as announced by the AIKSCC (All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee),” said Irfan Jafri of Jagrit Kisan Sanghatan.
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Jafri was one of the farmers leader who was detained by the police weeks ago.
“Almost all the panchayats of the state are witnessing protests after cases of theft and cheating of farmers by traders were reported in large numbers in the state,” he added.
Commenting on the protests, another farmer leader Shivkumar Kakji said, “Sarkar Kisano ke sabr ka imtehan na le aur jald se jald mamle na niptara kare (The government should not test the patience of farmers and should focus on resolving this issue at the earliest).”
Referring to the apex court’s decision, he said, “We were already prepared that SC might intervene on the directions if the government fails to resolve the issue, but there is no way (to end the protest) except the scrapping of all three laws.”
The farmers’ protest got a major boost in the state when the opposition Congress announced the launching of massive protests in support of farmers on January 7. The Congress had called for panchayat/district level strikes from January 7 to 15 and also held massive tractor rallies in Lahar, Guna, Chhindwara, Sagar and others.
The opposition party has also planned to hold Kisan Mahapanchayat on January 20 in Morena and picketing of State Assembly on January 23 in Bhopal.
The farmers outfits in the state as well as the opposition have raised questions on the credibility of the committee commissioned by the Supreme Court.
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“The four committee members (one has resigned) who have been appointed interlocutor by the spex court in the matter, have been vocal supporters of the new farm laws as is quite visible from their previous statements. In such a situation, how they can be trusted?” asked Badal Saroj of Kisan Sabha.
Commenting on the impact of court’s order on the farmers’ protest in the State, Saroj said, “The court’s dubious actions has proved that they are acting on the indications of the Union Government and it’s created an outrage among the farmers and locals. The court’s action has added fuel to the fire and protests will intensify in the state.”