Farmers protesting along the Delhi-Jaipur national highway against the new farm laws paid homage to their fellow protesters, who have died during the agitation until now. A tribute meeting was held on Sunday, during which farmers remembered the sacrifices of their counterparts, observed silence for two minutes and took a vow to continue their agitation against the laws.
Farmers from states such as Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat have been protesting at Jaisinghpura-Khera (near Shahajahanpur) on the Delhi-Jaipur highway since the past eight days after the Rewari Police stopped them from proceeding towards Delhi. Farmers across the country have been protesting against the three newly enacted farm laws. They fear that the new laws will put them at the mercy of large corporations and put an end to the minimum support price (MSP) they receive on important crops
Sanjay Madhav, the state convener of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee in Rajasthan, said that the tribute meeting was held in remembrance of 29 farmers who have died during the course of agitation. “During this movement, 29 farmers have died across the country. Today, we paid tribute to them and took a pledge to continue our movement until the laws are repealed,” said Madhav.
Blaming the Central government for the deaths, the protesting farmers said that they had been compelled to protest on the streets due to the anti-farmer laws. “The protesting farmers who have died until now are martyrs for us. It is unfortunate that they are no longer with us. They died due to accidents, diseases and the freezing cold while participating in the farmers’ movement,” said the union of farmer leaders, adding that the sacrifices of the farmers will not go in vain.
On Sunday, three different contingents of supporters joined the protest. These included members of Bhim Army, Bawal Khap Panchayat, Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha and Rajasthan Teachers Association (Shekhawat). Members of these organisations have joined the ongoing agitation at the protest site.
Ranjit Singh Raju, coordinator of Grameen Kisan Mazdoor Samiti, one of the farmers body under the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, said that a decision had been taken to keep Haryana toll free between December 25 and 27. “We remember the sacrifices of the protesting farmers who have died so far. We hold the government responsible for these deaths. The government says that the laws were made for farmers but farmers were not consulted before doing so. Why were these anti-farmer laws made? Today, we are on the streets to protest against the three laws and we hold the government responsible for this,” said Raju.
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