In response to the call by the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sang Samanvay Samiti, the All India Kisan Mahasabha and other farmers’ organizations held dharna protests and meetings at various District headquarters in the country on 9 August 2017. The Samanvay Samiti is comprised of 162 farmers’ organizations which include Block level to National level farmers’ organizations.
Protests were organized across the country on the occasion of Kranti Diwas on 9 August. The main demands of these protests were: loan waivers (government loans as well as moneylenders’ loans) for all farmers including sharecroppers; a minimum support price of 1 ½ times of the input costs for all crops; an end to acquisition of agricultural lands.
Protests, dharnas and meetings were held in front of District Collectorates at various placers including Giridih, Ramgarh, and Ranchi. The speakers who addressed the meetings said that under the BJP rule in the State corporate companies are looting the land of adivasis and farmers. The brave farmers are continuing their struggle even in the face of bullets and brutality. Memorandums with the above demands were submitted to the District Collectors. Coincidentally 9 August is also observed as Adivasi Day. The CPI(ML) took out a rally in Ranchi against the anti-adivasi, pro-corporate and communal policies of the Raghuvar government. It is to be noted that the government has recently passed the anti-conversion and Land Acquisition Amendment Bills; the anti-conversion Bill is aimed at weakening the adivasi unity by creating internal fights; and the Land Acquisition amendment Bill is a new ploy to hand over adivasis’ lands to corporate companies.
Rallies, dharnas and meetings were held in Patna, Buxar, Bhojpur, Bhagalpur, Biharsharif (Naland), Purnea, Hajipur (Vaishali) Sasaram (Rohtas), Jehanabad, Muzafarpur, Beguserai, Gaya, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Sa, Daudnagar and Arwal. Memorandums were submitted to the District Collectors with the above-mentioned demands and also demands for registration of sharecroppers, Rs 5000 monthly pension for farmers above 60 years of age, exemption from GST for fertilizers, seeds and other agricultural inputs. A memorandum to the Prime Minister was submitted through the Bhagalpur Collector demanding confiscation of Benami property and arrest of persons and politicians responsible for looting government treasuries. The memorandum submitted to the Nalanda DM included the demand for arrest of the culprits who attacked the struggling farmers in Harnot and Insaf Manch acti dharna at Gaya.
Protest marches and meetings were held at Bhind and other districts. The farmers strongly raised the demand for the suspension, arrest and speedy trial of the police personnel responsible for the Mandsaur firing where farmers were killed. They paid tribute to the farmers who were killed and demanded the resignation of CM Shivraj Chouhan.
Protest marches and meetings were held at Bhubaneshwar, Raigarh, Kalahandi and other places under the joint banners of the Kisan Mahasabha and AIARLA. The demands included loan waivers for all farmers and a minimum purchase price of Rs 3000 per quintal of paddy. Memorandums were submitted to the District Collectors.
A dharna was organized in Lalkuan Tehsil of Nainital District and a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister through the Tehsildar demanding land ownership rights for farmers, loan waivers for all farmers, and a minimum purchase price of 1 ½ times the crop outlay.
The District Convening Committee of the All India Kisan Sangharsh SamanvaySamiti was formed at a meeting in Jhunjhunu of the All India Kisan Mahasabha, Anti-Land Acquisition Sangharsh Samiti (Nawalgarh), Kisan Sangharsh Sa (Malsisar and Surajgarh), and the Shekhawat Manch. Under the banner of this Committee 200 farmers courted arrest at Khetri, 50 courted arrest at Buhana, and 150 farmers courted arrest at Chirawa and Jhunjhnu respec vati, Nawalgarh, Malsi and Surajgarh.
Protest marches and meetings and effigy burnings of the Prime Minister were organized at Karnal in Haryana and also in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with demands of loan waivers for all farmers including sharecroppers, minimum purchase price for crops, curbs on acquisition of agricultural land, ownership rights for landless poor on benami, gair-majrua and government lands, and guarantee of housing for landless poor.
Next Phase of Kisan Mukti Yatras in various States
At a meeting of the Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti Kisan Mukti Yatra in various States. The fifth and final phase would start from Kolkata, proceed through Odisha, Jharkhand, and culminate at Muzaffarpur in Bihar. A Kisan Mukti Rally would be held in Delhi on 20 November in which thousands of farmers from across the country would march towards Parliament in Delhi.