After holding separate protests against agriculture Bills, now all the 30 state farmer organisations have come on a common platform and supported Punjab bandh of September 25, announced by the state unit of All India Kisan Sangrash Coordination Comittee (AIKSCC).
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the 30 farmer unions at Moga on Saturday afternoon. The unions will again meet at Barnala on September 22 to decide the future course of action.
The farmer unions appealed to people of Punjab to shut their shops/ factories, rail / road transport or any type of services on September 25. They will allow only health and essential services to remain operational on that day. Already rail roko has been announced from September 24-26 by Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee. However, only a few trains are running these days. The farmer unions will support ambulance services and their volunteers will be there to help out patients in case it is needed.
Buta Singh Burzgill, state president, Bhartiya Kisan Union-Ekta (Dakaunda), and Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union-Ekta (Dakaunda), said that the joint struggle against the agriculture Bills would be intensified. On Sunday, effigies of the Central government will be burnt statewide on the introduction of agriculture Bills in the Rajya Sabha.
The farmers demanded that the Central government and the Reserve Bank of India should immediately release the cash credit limit to Punjab for picking up the crop from the mandis for the paddy season. “Voices of the peasant struggle are being heard outside Punjab, beyond Haryana, UP and in Delhi as well,” Burjgill said.
The farmers said that there are 154 urban mandis and 4,000 procurement centres in Punjab. There are 7,000 permanent urban markets in the country. According to the reports submitted by the agronomists to the Central government from time to time, the mandis need to be increased six times, ie 42,000 mandis, for proper procurement arrangements. But the Modi government has reversed the government’s procurement system, the farmers alleged.
Jagmohan said, “We support rail roko and pakka morchas. Now all unions are on a common platform. We need to stay united in this hour.”
Earlier, only 10 farmer unions had supported the Punjab bandh call of AIKSCC but now all the 30 farmer unions have come together. These unions are spread out in Malwa, Majha and Doaba regions.
Farmer Preetam Singh to be cremated today
Sixty-five-year-old farmer Preetam Singh who had committed suicide after consuming sulphase tablets Friday morning at pakka morcha organised at Badal village will be cremated on Sunday. Ram Singh Bhainibhaga, president of BKU (Ugrahan), said, “District administration has given Rs 3 lakh in compensation to the farmer’s family while Rs 17 lakh is the pending loan on family which the government has promised to waive off. In addition to this, they have also given an assurance to provide a government job to a family member of Preetam Singh. Though he was unmarried, his nephews are eligible for the same.” Bhainibhaga added, “We have appealed to farmers from the stage that they should not adopt this way of committing suicide. Rather they should struggle for their rights. Unions are always with them.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines