The names of hundreds of farmers, who died being part of the protest against the farm laws, were read out aloud at a meeting in south Kolkata to mark the first anniversary of the movement.
“These people are not just numbers. They are a part of us. They are martyrs,” said Nausheen Baba Khan, a rights activist and one of the organisers of the meeting held in Bhowanipore, at the intersection of Sarat Bose Road and Chakraberia Road. Farmers, workers, students and rights activists took part in another rally in central Kolkata on Friday to mark one year of the farmers’ movement.
The Bengal unit of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha — the platform of various farmer groups that has been spearheading the movement — had organised the rally.
The assembly happened at Y-Channel, followed by a procession that walked from Esplanade to Sealdah.
“The farmers’ movement was a victory for the whole country — for constitutional values, for democratic rights and for people’s voice and power in a democracy,” said Avik Saha, secretary of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee. “The Union government has been non-committal on the major demands like a law for MSP and the dismissal and arrest of Union minister Ajay Mishra. The movement will continue till these demands are met,” he said.
Over 2,000 people, many of them from the districts, came for the rally, said organisers.