Samyukta Kisan Morcha expresses discontent over barricades at Delhi borders; calls nationwide strike | India News

NEW DELHI: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has expressed “strong discontent and anger” at the way the Narendra Modi government has erected barricades and imposed 144 at Delhi borders, to stop protesting farmers on Tuesday from reaching Delhi, but has also dissociated from the “Dilli Chalo” programme, saying it has not been called by them.
The SKM has called a nationwide strike on February 16, against the Centre’s failure to fulfil the specific promises it made to the farmers groups when the 13-month-long farmers protest ended after the government withdrew the contentious farm bills. The Bharat bandh was announced at a press conference here on February 6, by SKM.
Suspicious that the fringe group of farmers’ organisations that have called the Dilli Chalo movement, could be working to discredit SKM and the Bharat bandh, SKM member Hannan Mollah told the TOI that “we are working on the nationwide bandh called February 16… this move has come up suddenly and has not been called by us. However, any farmers’ organisation can call for a protest march.”
The nationwide strike has been called by the SKM to remind the Centre of fulfilling its promises made to the farmers when the 13-month protests around Delhi was finally called off on December 2020.
The government had agreed to give legal guarantee on MSP, loan waiver, withdraw the Electricity Bill, provide relief to the 750 families of martyrs in the farm protests, withdraw cases against protesting farmers, remove Union minister Ajay Mishra from office following his son’s involvement in murder of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.
“We have held rallies at Ramlila Maidan, at district and block levels after that we have written to Prime Minister, gheraoed governor houses across states, to remind the government of the assurances it gave, but there has been no response,” said Mollah, explaining why SKM has called the Bharat Bandh.
In a written statement issued on Monday, “SKM has clarified earlier that it has not given the call to Delhi Chalo on 13th February and SKM has nothing to do with this protest action. However, organisations other than SKM have the right to protest and it is the responsibility of the Union government to treat such protests in a democratic manner instead of adhering to excessive state expression.”
SKM expressed “strong discontent and anger against the dictatorial manner, in which the Modi government is handling the democratic mode of protests by erecting iron nails, barbed wires and concrete barricades in the highways in Punjab and Delhi borders. The administration is imposing section 144 in and around Delhi and Haryana and diverting the traffic without any prior advisory to the public and creating an atmosphere of terror to frighten off the people. The government is treating protesters as if they are enemies of the country.”
In Madhya Pradesh, five state leaders of SKM were arrested and jailed under section 151 of CRPC. Many activists were arrested in various parts of the state, the statement said.
SKM urged the Prime Minister to clarify why his government is not ready for discussion with the platforms of farmers and workers in the context of the countrywide Grameen Bandh and Industrial/ Sectoral Strike call on 16th February 2024 on the demands of people’s livelihood?

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