SKM Announces ‘Protest Against Betrayal’ in 500 Districts, Highway Blockade on July 31
New Delhi: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a farmers’ collective of over 40 unions and organisations, has announced the next phase of their movement in which they will organise “Protest Against Betrayal” in 500 districts of the country.
As the first step, a country-wide ‘chakka jam’ (road blockade) on all highways between 11 a.m to 3. p.m will be held on July 31, demanding legal guarantee of minimum support price, compensation for deceased farmers among other demands, the SKM announced here on Sunday, adding that “due care will be taken to ensure that the common public is not inconvenienced by this program.”
Expressing its disappointment at the Union Government’s “betrayal”, the SKM said it had “completely reneged on the written promises made to the farmers when the Morcha was lifted on December 9, 2021. Neither has the committee on MSP been formed, nor the false cases registered against the farmers during the agitation been withdrawn. The Government is trying to introduce the Electricity Bill in Parliament. The Government is not even ready to consider the biggest demand of the farmers, i.e. the legal guarantee of minimum support price. “
The SKM, which spearheaded a year-long agitation for withdrawal of the three Central farm laws, the second phase of their agitation will also expose the Agnipath scheme for military recruitment, by organising “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” conventions across the country from August 7 to August 14, as per a press statement issued by SKM. Ex-servicemen and unemployed youth will also be invited to these conventions.
“It was also decided in the meet that the farm organizations will mobilize unemployed youth and ex-servicemen against the Agnipath scheme, which is anti-national and anti-youth as well as anti-farmer,” the statement read.
On the 75th anniversary of Independence, a 75-hour mass dharna will be held in Lakhimpur Kheri on August 18, 19, 20, demanding the sacking of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni, whose son is the key accused in the mowing down of four farmers and a journalist in Tikunia area on October 3, 2021.
“Ajay Mishra Teni’s continuance in the Union Cabinet, even 10 months after the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre is a cruel joke on the law and order situation of the country,” it said.
The farmers’ collective also announced that most of the farmers’ organisations that had been suspended from the SKM at the time of Punjab elections have returned to the Morcha, such as Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan).
In addition, the SKM, which held a meeting of its national level leaders in Ghaziabad, also passed a resolution against “growing repression on farmers and human rights activists”, such as the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad and fact-checker journalist Mohammad Zubair
The meeting also condemned the “slapping of false cases against farmers leader Ashish Mittal in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, lathi-charge on farmers protesting against Adani’s high-voltage wire in Farakka, Bengal, and repression of protesting farmers in Chhattisgarh.”
The SKM statement, released by Darshan Pal, Hannan Mollah, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Yudhveer Singh and Yogendra Yadav, said that about 200 delegates from 15 states of the country participated in Sunday’s meeting.
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