Monday witnessed another wave of farmers’ protests against the Centre’s new contentious agriculture bills in several places across the country with the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) activists torching a tractor during a demonstration at India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi.
Five people claiming to be members of Punjab Youth Congress have been detained in this connection, said police. They said around 15-20 people brought a tractor on a truck to the Man Singh Crossing of Rajpath. They unloaded the tractor from the truck and set it on fire.
Our country thrives on the blood and sweat of our farmers.
From fighting the British to feeding the entire nation, our farmers are the nation's backbone.
— Youth Congress (@IYC) September 28, 2020
Fire officials said they were informed about it at 7.42 am and two fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The blaze was doused off and tractor was removed, police said. In a tweet, IYC said its activists had set the tractor ablaze on the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said five people had been detained and an Innova car used also been taken into custody. The detained have all been identified as residents of Punjab, police said. They claimed to be members of Youth Congress Punjab.
The incident comes amid protests by farmers and the Opposition over the three farm laws that were passed by Parliament last week and got presidential assent on Sunday. Farmers have expressed apprehension that the laws would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big companies.
Meanwhile, Delhi Congress leaders and workers, including its president Anil Kumar, were detained by police during a protest against the bills at Rajghat. Kumar said a protest march was also scheduled but police detained party leaders and workers before it could begin.
The agriculture laws are a death sentence to our farmers. Their voice is crushed in Parliament and outside.
Here is proof that democracy in India is dead. pic.twitter.com/MC4BIFtZiA
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 28, 2020
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged the farm laws are a “death sentence” for the farmers whose voice has been crushed both inside and outside Parliament.
In Karnataka, pro-farmer outfits staged protests on Monday over the amendments to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act and the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act passed by the Karnataka Assembly despite strong objection by the opposition parties.
The amendment to the KLR Act lifts restrictions on purchasing agricultural land and enables any individual to purchase it. The repeal of certain provisions in the APMC Act through an amendment allows private players to directly purchase agriculture produce from farmers, which was prohibited earlier.
The protesters alleged these laws will ruin the agriculture sector as people with moneybags will purchase agricultural land to convert their black money into white and turn agriculture land into real estate business. The farmers alleged amendment to APMC Act will deprive them of minimum support price and enable multinational companies and big corporate houses to directly procure produce at their rates.
The call for a bandh given by Karnataka Raitha Sangha (Karnataka Farmers’ Association) and other farmer organisations is supported by the Congress, JD(S), Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) and the Left parties.
The protests were staged at important locations in Bengaluru, Ramanagara, Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajanagara, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru, Ballari, Raichur, Chitradurga, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Bidar, Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dharwad and Davangere among others.
In Gujarat, nearly 100 state Congress workers, including state chief Amit Chavda, were detained in Gandhinagar after they staged a protest against the farm bills.
भाजपा के काले कानून कृषि क्षेत्र को कमजोर करने वाले हैं। केंद्र सरकार के कृषि संबंधित काले कानूनों के खिलाफ @INCGujarat के प्रदेशाध्यक्ष अमित चावड़ा के नेतृत्व में कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं ने अपनी आवाज बुलंद की।
किसानों की लड़ाई में कांग्रेस किसानों के साथ है।#KisaanMazdoorNYAYMarch pic.twitter.com/QKTqKB0Qz0
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 28, 2020
In the morning, Chavda, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani, some Congress MLAs and party workers gathered at the Ambedkar statue near the Assembly complex and raised slogans against the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Gujarat.
They claimed the bills recently passed by Parliament were “anti-farmer and will destroy the APMCs”. Later, the police detained the state Congress chief, Dhanani, and others. Around 100 protesters were detained when they started walking towards Raj Bhavan, said police.