Farmers from Kerala who are on indefinite strike since December 12, under the banner of Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi, in solidarity with the farmers across the country protesting against the contentious farm laws, have decided to intensify the struggle. The Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi, which is part of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), has continuously been observing relay protest at the Martyrs’ Column in Thiruvananthapuram.
The samithi, which consists of various farmers’ organisations including Kerala Karshaka Sangham (Kerala chapter of All India Kisan Sabha), Karshaka Congress along with other organisations, have now decided to launch protest at every district centre across the state from December 23, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurating the protest at Thiruvananthapuram.
While the relay protest in the Martyrs’ column entered its fourth day, similar protests have been held across various districts. Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU), a body of agricultural workers, is also a part of the ongoing protests.
Also read: Agricultural Workers an Integral Part of Ongoing Historic Struggle of Farmers
“It is not just the struggle of farmers, the entire state is going to be affected by the farm laws. Since Kerala is a consumer state, the farm laws, especially the Essential Commodities Amendment Act, would affect the food security of the state,” said KN Balagopal, state secretary of Kerala Karshaka Sangham, the Kerala Chapter of All India Kisan Sabha, while talking to NewsClick.
Farmers in the state also observed December 20 as Farmer Martyrs Homage Day as part of the all India call. The Kerala Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi paid tributes to the farmers who have lost their lives during the protests at the borders of the national capital since November 26. On December 19, All India Kisan Sabha had announced that they would be observing December 20 as Farmer Martyrs Homage Day.
"All the AIKS units across the country along with the constituent Kisan organisations of the AIKSCC and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will observe December 20, 2020, as the farmer martyrs Homage Day with massive participation," said a statement issued by AIKS.
Apart from district centres of AIKS, various farmers and other organisations also paid tributes to the deceased farmers. According to AIKS, as many as 33 farmers who were of the protests have died since November 26, 2020, due to accidents, illness and hostile weather conditions in the intensifying winter in Delhi.