Farmers protesting against the three contentious agriculture laws have intensified their stir after a brief lull. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of more than 40 organizations, came up with a series of programmes, including a ‘Parliament March’ in the first fortnight of May.
On April 5, the farmers will observe ‘FCI Bachao Divas (Save FCI Day)’ by protesting outside the offices of Food Corporation of India (FCI) all over the country. On April 10, the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway will be blocked for 24 hours, said Gurnam Singh Chadauni, president of Bhartiya Kisan Union Haryana.
On April 13, the protesters will celebrate Baisakhi (harvest festival) on the borders of Delhi. Savindan Bachao Divas (Save Constitution Day) will be celebrated on April 14, to mark the birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar. On May 1, Mazdoor Day (Labour Day) too will be celebrated on the borders of Delhi, Chadauni added.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha also announced a march to Parliament in the first fortnight of May. “Besides farmers, labourers, women, dalits, adivasis and unemployed youth from every section of the society will be part of this march,” said Chadauni.
“All the programmes will be held in a peaceful manner. Farmers will drive to the Delhi borders in their vehicles. Once they unite, a march will be taken to the Parliament building in Delhi city. The exact date of the march will be announced soon,” said Darshan Pal, President of Krantikari Kisan Union.
Meanwhile, to build up protest in other states, decentralized ‘Mitti Satyagraha Yatra’ was organized by farmers in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Assam and Punjab between March 12 and March 28. Soil from all over the country will be taken to the Tikri border and used to build a martyr memorial at the place in remembrance of those who died during the ongoing protest.
On Thursday (April 1), the ‘Mitti Satyagraha Yatra’ began from Dandi in Gujarat and it will reach the Shahjahanpur border in Delhi at 9 am on April 5. From the Shahjahanpur border, this Yatra will proceed further and culminate at the Tikri border. The yatra was briefly stopped by the Gujarat police in Umrachi on Thursday morning.
The farmers will reach Singhu border on April 6 and on the same day it will proceed for the Ghazipur border. All senior leaders associated with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha will be a part of the yatra.
Jagjit Singh, a farmer taking part in Dandi March, said, “The Modi government wants to snatch the farmers’ soil (land) and hand it over to the capitalists. This yatra is being taken out in protest against the government’s move. More than 320 farmers have died so far, opposing the Centre’s draconian laws. Taking inspiration from Gandhiji, we have decided to build a martyr’s memorial.”