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regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 March 2024

Samyukta Kisan Morcha farmers to protest ‘police harassment’ of leaders

Yudhvirji has gone abroad thrice. Arresting him at Delhi airport and then letting him go after protests began shows that this is a conspiracy to harass and suppress the farmers’ movement, says Rakesh Tikait

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 03.12.23, 05:31 AM
Rakesh Tikait.

Rakesh Tikait. File picture

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha will protest at all the collectorates in the country on December 11 and 12 against alleged police harassment of its leaders over the cases filed against them during the successful agitation against three farm laws in 2020-21.

Morcha leader Rakesh Tikait addressed reporters at the Press Club of India on Saturday, three days after Bharatiya Kisan Union general secretary Yudhvir Singh was briefly detained at Delhi airport before boarding a flight to a conference in Colombia. The Morcha is a conglomerate of more than 40 farmers' groups.

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"Yudhvirji has gone abroad thrice. Arresting him at Delhi airport and then letting him go after protests began shows that this is a conspiracy to harass and suppress the farmers' movement," Tikait said.

"The Union agriculture ministry had assured us on December 9, 2021, that all the cases would be withdrawn. We withdrew our agitation after this. Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar confirmed the withdrawal of cases by police and the Railway Protection Force in a reply to Parliament on December 16, 2022."

Singh was detained for about eight hours, and had to take another flight to attend the La Via Campesina conference in Bogota.

Last month, Veerender Hudda --- a BKU leader from Rohtak, Haryana, received a summons from the Delhi police in connection with a case related to the 2020-21 agitation.

Satnam Behru and Harinder Lokowal, Morcha leaders from Punjab, continue to face legal proceedings in Delhi for the agitation. Last year, the BKU’s Arju Baliyan was prevented from flying to Nepal.

Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union, Punjab, said: "On December 11 and 12, we will submit memoranda to the President and Union home secretary not to violate the commitments made to us, to make all lookout circulars against us public, and withdraw all pending cases. These memoranda will be submitted through the district collectors."

P. Krishnaprasad, finance secretary of the CPM’s All India Kisan Sabha, said: "The lookout circulars are illegal and this harassment has started after the movement to implement the pending demands, such as a legal guarantee for minimum support price for crops. Demonstrations were held at all the Raj Bhavans from November 26 to 28."

He added: "Will the home ministry act against officers of its agencies who are harassing us? We are ready to hit the streets again."

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