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SKM to Observe Black Day Today After Murder of a 24-Year-Old Farmer

The constituent organisations of the morcha said farmers will hold tractor parade on February 26 and a rally at Ramlila Maidan on March 14 to show their anguish.
The ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march by SKM-NP entered fifth day, with protesting farmers camping on various border sites.

Image Courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a collective of farmers' organisations across the country, on Thursday issued an appeal to burn the effigies of Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Haryana’s home minister Anil Vij on Friday, February 23. The decision was taken in response to the murder of 24-year-old farmer Shubh Karan Singh at Khanauri border and the brutal repression of protesting farmers. The farmers' organisations maintained that the repression is being carried out under the supervision of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.

Balbir Singh Rajewal, President of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), said, “We are of firm opinion that it was illegal on the part of Haryana Police to enter the borders of Punjab and repress the farmers through pellet guns. While one farmer, Shubh Karan Singh, who was under a debt of Rs 15 lakh, is dead, many injured farmers are seeking treatment in Government hospitals in Rajpura and Patran. The tractors have been vandalised, too. We demand a judicial enquiry into the repression, sabotaging of tractors and a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the heir of deceased farmers.”

Meanwhile, Haryana Police Officials said that three constables have died on duty at the Shambhu border amid the ongoing tussle between farmers and police forces.

Krishna Prasad, Finance Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said that the farmers' unions will organise a tractor parade on February 26 to show our anguish that we will not tolerate this repression. “There will be a huge parade from Amritsar to Shambhu border to display our unity. Secondly, the farmers' unions will also organise a big rally on March 14 in Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi to show our strength,” Prasad said.

Speaking to NewsClick over the phone, he said that a committee of six persons has been formed to initiate dialogue with former members of the morcha to build a broader unity. The members of the committee will be Hannan Mollah, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Raminder Singh Patiala, Yudhveer Singh and Darshan Pal.

Addressing the press conference, Yudhveer Singh, General Secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union, said that the farmers' unions also unanimously took the call to hold the tractor parades to show their anguish that the World Trade Organisation cannot decide the fate of millions of destitute farmers. He said, “we are opposed to the meeting of this organisation in Abu Dhabi due to two reasons. The government has been telling this organisation that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) as Swaminathan Commission cannot be given. Second, it has advocated for discarding the Public Distribution System (PDS) which would deprive millions of families of basic food items.”

WTO, a global organisation to determine trade rules among countries, had advocated that the farmers should not be given more than a 3% increment in the prices of grains in 1986. The farmers' unions have been alleging that the cost of input prices has increased multifold. Such a recommendation is made to protect the interests of big agribusinesses based in developed countries.

In a press statement, the morcha said it appeals to the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, other worker organisations, and all sections of the people, including students, youth, women, cultural activists, and small traders, to support in solidarity and participate in this section. “In preceding this massive Rally, SKM state units are requested to organise padayatra and rallies in front of Raj Bhawan in the state capital demanding stop repression on farmers struggle and in support of the demands by coordinating with the JPCTU’s,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, X, formerly Twitter, a microblogging website on Thursday said that it is consistently receiving orders from the union government to block the accounts of farmer leaders and other activists. It said that it would challenge the order in the Karnataka High Court.

It said, “The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts. Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency.”

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