Farmers Held Massive Protests Throughout India, Not Just Delhi

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Reports coming from various state capitals suggest that angry farmers expressed their disapproval of the controversial farm laws in every corner of the country

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The Republic Day protest call including tractor march by farmers union was for all over India. The Delhi violence that naturally drew media attention gives the impression that nothing happened in rest of India. But this is not true. The fact is that no part of the country remained untouched.

A closer look at reports coming from various state capitals suggest that the farmers were equally active everywhere, be it UP, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the North, or Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the south, or West Bengal and Assam in the East, or Maharashtra in the West. Everywhere the agitating farmers were on the road holding tractor rallies, protest demonstrations, sit-ins, etc.

The nation-wide protest call was given by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (United Front of Farmers, that represents over 40 farmers unions) and coordinated by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (an umbrella front of over 500 farmers’ organisations from all states). The protest began from January 23 and culminated on 26th.

Tractor rally organised by farmers in Rajasthan remained peaceful.

It started with Mumbai on January 25. More than 15,000 farmers from various districts of Maharashtra gathered at Azad Maidan. NCP president Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, Peasants and Workers Party leader Jayant Patil and various farmers’ representatives attended the rally on Monday.

On Tuesday, the actual day of protest, they left for their homes after an elderly woman agitator hoisted the national flag at the Azad Maidan, said the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).
“The flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Azad Maidan on Tuesday morning. After that, farmers headed towards their homes. The movement is in line with what we had decided earlier,” AIKS president Ashok Dhawale told PTI.

After the public meeting at Azad Maidan on Monday, the protesters took out a march towards the Raj Bhavan. However, police stopped the protesters mid-way. A delegation of farmers was to meet and submit a memorandum to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. But the governor was away in Goa. Pawar told the gathering that the governor had time to meet film actress Kangna Ranaut but not the famers.

The farmers’ leaders accused Koshyari of not meeting them despite giving an appointment himself. The leaders charged Koshyari with “running away” to Goa and “insulting” farmers by not being in the Raj Bhavan to accept their memorandum. To protest the governor’s attitude, they tore copies of the memorandum.

In Jaipur, Rajasthan, a tractor rally was taken out from Shahjahanapur border in Alwar district towards Delhi on Tuesday. Unlike Delhi, it remained peaceful.

Farmers’ protest in a state capital.

Till 2 p.m., over 3,000 vehicles were seen on the roads which included tractors as well as jeeps and cars. All these vehicles were going towards Manesar. After crossing the Shahajanapur border, the farmers entered Haryana where the police permitted them to continue their rally till Manesar which is 65 km from Shahjahanapur.

As per the scheduled programme, the farmers were supposed to return after hoisting their flag at a government school in Delhi. However, owing to long traffic jams on the highway, many farmers failed to reach Manesar and had to return mid-way.

Farmers from Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat took part in the rally which passed off peacefully, said Sanjay Madhav, spokesperson for the Rajasthan chapter of Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

Protest rally in Kolkata, West Bengal.

In Bengaluru, Karnataka, thousands of farmers from various parts of the state reached by tractors and other vehicles as part of the ‘Jana Ganarajyotsava Parade’.

Although the Bengaluru Police had restricted the number of tractors entering the city, farmers marched in large numbers from the railway station to Freedom Park, a distance of about 3km, for their the parade in solidarity with the farmers protesting in Delhi for over two months.

Similar protests were held in many districts of Karnataka.

The farmers started arriving from distant parts of Karnataka to Bengaluru on Monday evening itself. The flow intensified on Tuesday morning as they rode on hundreds of tractors and lorries from across the state to converge in the Karnataka capital.

In West Bengal, a 72-hour Mahapadav had already been observed and tractor parades were held at various districts, including Burdwan, 24-Parganas and others.
Even in distant Assam protests were held.

Farmers participate in a tractor march on Republic Day, as part of their protest against Centre’s farm reform laws, in Gurugram. — PTI

In Gujarat, too, small protests could be held although the BJP-led state government cracked down on farmers’ protests from November itself.

Farmers from Western and central Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana had already converged at the Capital’s borders for the Republic Day protest. They had been joined by big and small contingents from all states, including Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and others.


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