Farm Union SKM To Observe ‘Black Day’ Tomorrow Over Farmer’s Death At Border

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Mega Protest Tomorrow Over Farmer's Death, Demand For Murder Case

The SKM Thursday held a meeting here to discuss the situation at the borders (File)

Chandigarh:

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Thursday demanded Haryana Chief Minister and the Haryana Home Minister be booked for the “murder” of a protesting farmer on the Punjab-Haryana border and announced a tractor march next week.

The SKM announced that the farmers will observe a ‘black day’ on Friday in the country to mourn the death and will burn effigies of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, and state Home Minister Anil Vij.

It said farmers will take out tractor marches on highways on February 26 and hold an All India All Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on March 14.

The SKM, which spearheaded the 2020-21 farm agitation against the now-repealed farm laws, is not part of the Delhi Chalo agitation but has extended support to it.

Subhkaran Singh, 21, a native of Bathinda, had died Wednesday amid clashes between Haryana Police and Punjab farmers.

The incident took place when the farmers rushed to the barricades, several layers of which have been erected by Haryana authorities to prevent farmers from proceeding with their march, and clashed with police.

The SKM Thursday held a meeting here to discuss the situation at Shambhu and Khanauri border points where thousands of farmers are camping as part of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ call.

Speaking to reporters here, SKM leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said a case of “murder” should be registered against Khattar and Vij and the two must resign.

Farmer leaders also demanded a judicial inquiry by a judge of the Supreme Court in the matter and Rs 1 crore in compensation to the farmer’s family.

Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan condemned the “repression” of farmers sitting at Shambhu and Khanauri border points by the Haryana government .

“We have decided to burn the effigies of Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Haryana Home Minister Anil Shah,” Mr Ugrahan said.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said a tractor march will be taken out on highways on February 26 and an effigy of the World Trade Organisation will also be burned as the farmers do not want agriculture sector to remain under the international body’s remit.

The farmer leaders also accused Mr Khattar and Mr Vij of “orchestrating the repression” of the protesters.

Farmer leader Darshan Pal said the dead farmer had Rs 15-16 lakh in debt and it must be waived.

The SKM has formed a six-member committee, including Rajewal, Ugrahan, Darshan Pal, for coordinating with the breakaway faction — Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) — for fighting unitedly for the cause.

When asked whether the SKM will join the ongoing protest at two points on the Punjab-Haryana border, Mr Rajewal said the SKM is holding its agitation independently.

Several SKM leaders from Punjab, Haryana, and other states participated in the meeting.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) are spearheading the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of MSP for crops and a farm loan waiver.

Farmers leaders had on Wednesday put the march on hold for two days after a farmer’s death, who was later identified as Subhkaran Singh, saying they would decide their next course of action Friday evening.

Besides MSP, the Punjab farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases, and “justice” for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21, are also among their demands.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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