*Samyukta Kisan Morcha Press Release*
311th day, 03rd October 2021
*Convoy of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, reportedly of his son, uncle and other goons, runs over protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri of Uttar Pradesh – At least three farmers killed, and around ten others injured in the incident – SKM severely condemns these murderous attacks on farmers – SKM demands that murder cases be imposed on the MoS and his people immediately – Union MoS should be dismissed immediately*
*Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar brazenly encourages volunteers to pick up _lathis_ and attack farmers – SKM severely condemns the BJP CM’s violent intent and demands that he apologize immediately, and resign from his constitutional post*
*Yesterday’s victory of farmers when it comes to paddy procurement should show the government that taking a U-turn is not very difficult in the face of concrete logic and evidence – Same should be done with repeal of 3 anti-farmer laws and enacting a remunerative MSP guarantee statute: SKM*
*In Ghadsana of Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district, farmer protests erupt for irrigation water*
In a brutal and inhuman attack on peacefully protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri of Uttar Pradesh, a convoy of vehicles associated with BJP’s Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, his son, his uncle and other goons ran over several protestors. It is reported that one of the farmers was shot dead by the son of the Union MoS Ajay Mishra Teni, Ashish (Monu) Mishra. At least two other farmers were killed in the incident (one on the spot, and another in a hospital), and around ten others injured seriously. It is reported that Terai Kisan Sanghatan’s leader, and SKM leader Tajinder Singh Virk has also been injured. More details about the deceased and injured are awaited. It is reported that farmers were also provoked into retaliation after this brutal attack, and that vehicles of the BJP leader were smashed. Samyukt Kisan Morcha demands that Uttar Pradesh government should immediately impose cases with murder charges against all those involved from the side of Ajay Mishra Teni. The Union MoS should be dismissed immediately. SKM also warns BJP leaders of Uttar Pradesh to stop provoking farmers of the state. After an emergency meeting, SKM is expected to announce its next course of action. Meanwhile, several SKM leaders have left from different locations to Lakhimpur Kheri.
As announced earlier, a large number of farmers started assembling from the morning itself today in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh for a black flag protest against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, for the open threat issued against farmer leaders in a public meeting. Thousands of farmers with black flags occupied this morning the helipad at Maharaja Agrasen Ground to prevent the Deputy CM from landing there. As reported earlier, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mr Ajay Mishra Teni had issued an open threat to farmer leaders in a public meeting recently. The brutal attack on farmers is reported to have happened as the farmers were dispersing and leaving from the protest site. Mr Teni’s son, uncle and other goons are then reported to have run over the protestors who had lined up on the roads with black flags and two farmers are reported to have been killed on the spot. Many others have been hospitalised.
In a completely unacceptable and objectionable development, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is heard in a video clip encouraging (BJP-RSS) volunteers to pick up _lathis_ and attack farmers, even if this means ending up in jails for a few months! It is clear where officials like Ayush Sinha get their impunity from. While the farmers’ movement has explicitly made peace and non-violence as its values, it is clear that the government is acting with murderous intent on its own citizens. SKM severely condemns the BJP CM’s violent intent and demands that he apologize immediately, and resign from his constitutional post.
Yesterday, farmers had a swift victory through a united, coordinated struggle against delay in paddy procurement by government agencies. It was a Satyagraha that immediately yielded results. Farmers showed that due to short duration varieties used and Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR), the crop has indeed matured on time, and that any rains now would have destroyed the ready crops in the fields. They pointed out that they could not have afforded to incur the costs of transporting the grain to their own homes and later to the Mandi, and that there was also severe space constraint for storage. They also pointed out that delay in paddy harvesting and sale will narrow the time window available for stubble management and will lead to more straw burning. They showed evidence of grain that has reached the mandis and was getting drenched. The Government of India took a quick U-turn and announced by the evening that procurement will be initiated today, on a Sunday, instead of on the 11th of October as announced earlier. SKM would like to point out to the BJP government that such a U-turn is easy enough to take, and can be done so gracefully. In the face of strong evidence that farmers put forward that their livelihoods will be adversely affected otherwise, the government had to concede to the demand. Similar should be the case with the core demands of this historic farmers’ agitation. SKM asks the Modi government to fulfill the legitimate demands of the farmers’ movement immediately.
In Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district, farmers’ protests erupted last evening into a large gathering of more than ten thousand farmers demanding canal water for irrigation. In Ghadsana, farmers who are afraid of their crop getting destroyed in the absence of supply of canal irrigation water, have been demanding the same for several days now, but the administration ignored the legitimate demand of farmers. The farmers’ fear and wrath turned into a large assembly of thousands of farmers outside the SDM office, where they have laid a siege. The siege is continuing at the time of release of this press note.
Meanwhile, sugarcane growers of Karnataka have announced an Assembly Gherao on October 5th in Bangalore. They are protesting against the low prices being offered as SAP in the state and are demanding an increase in the price to at least Rs. 350 per quintal. The Centre had announced a meagre FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) of Rs. 290/quintal only for the upcoming crushing season, while Karnataka SAP is also at a low Rs. 320/quintal.
Yesterday, in Yamunanagar’s (Haryana) Alipur village, local farmers staged a protest against the village sarpanch participating in a PM Samvad program. The event got disrupted by the local protest. In Ludhiana in Punjab, a BJP event was not allowed to take place.
The Lokneeti Satyagraha Padayatra from Champaran to Varanasi entered the second day today. Despite a heavy downpour yesterday, thousands set off on the padayatra as per schedule on October 2nd yesterday, commemorating the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. The yatra left Chandrahiya this morning, and would go through Piprakoti and reach Kotwa for the night stay tonight.
Punjab Chief Minister has announced that cases filed against protestors occupying railway tracks as part of the current agitation would be withdrawn. SKM demands that all cases against farmers be withdrawn in Haryana too. Yesterday, apart from using water cannons to disperse protesting farmers, Haryana government had slapped several cases against farmers. These cases should be withdrawn immediately.
Farm suicides are increasing after the pink bollworm damage hit the cotton crop in several districts of cotton growing regions of North India. SKM demands prompt payment of compensation by governments, apart from looking into the liability of seed producers and suppliers.
*Issued by -*
Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dr Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Charuni, Hannan Mollah, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, Shivkumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’, Yudhvir Singh, Yogendra Yadav
*Samyukta Kisan Morcha*