Left parties condemn police action on protesting farmers; ask Centre to roll back laws

Last Updated 27 November 2020, 19:36 IST

The Left parties on Friday stood in solidarity with the farmers who converged in Delhi to protest the Centre's new farm laws and condemned the use of force against the protestors.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the grit and determination of the Indian farmers cannot be broken by the use of force.

"Lakhs of our annadatas are knocking PM Modi to listen. He doesn’t even take cognisance. Instead feeds his vanity deepening people’s misery & intensifying pandemic spread," he tweeted.

“Swelling farmers protests braving severe repression does not move callous Modi government over urgency for new laws to protect the kisan entitlements,” Yechury said.

Thousands of farmers gathered at various entry points into the national capital were allowed in on Friday to hold a peaceful protest at a north Delhi ground, defusing some of the tension building up since morning around the city's edges and beyond.

The concession came after hours of a standoff that saw police using teargas shells, water cannons and multi-layer barriers to block the protesters and the farmers pelting stones and breaking barricades in some places in their determination to push through as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march.

CPI MP Binoy Viswam said the use of tear gas, water cannons, lathi charge and other excesses by the police forces against the farmers was "yet another example of the way this government suppresses democratic voices and stifles dissent."

"Their actions cannot be condoned and are an anathema to the Indian Constitution. After their (the three laws) passing, protests have raged across various parts of the country and numerous representations have met with the government, only to be met with empty promises. The protests that are currently centred around Delhi are a direct response to the anti-people, anti-democratic and fascist stance of the ruling party,” he said in a statement.

CPI general secretary D Raja too condemned the police action on the farmers and said the Haryana government and Delhi Police under the Home Ministry should be criticised for their "high-handed manner".

"We continue to stand in support of the farmers of this country. If the farmers have any grievances, they have the right to come to the capital city of this country,” he said.

Viswam alleged that the government had forgotten that the Constitution gives a guarantee to peacefully protest and was using every tactic to “de-legitimise and quash” the farmers’ movement.

“The farmers' march to Delhi has foiled the BJP design to paint the farmers' agitation as an 'opposition conspiracy'. Sikh farmers from Congress-ruled Punjab and Hindu farmers from BJP-ruled Haryana and UP are together in this resistance,” Dipankar Bhattacharya, the general secretary of the CPI(ML), said.

After facing tear gas, water cannons and clashing with security personnel, hundreds of farmers entered the national capital on Friday to hold a peaceful protest at a north Delhi ground, but there were still thousands at border points who were undecided to go to the identified demonstration site and a clarity in their decision is expected on Saturday.

(Published 27 November 2020, 19:36 IST)

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