'Farmers' protests brought back memories of Emergency'

'Farmers' protests brought back memories of Emergency': SKM in 'letter of anguish' to President

Various farmers organisations, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the Delhi borders

Members of various farmer organisations block a railway track during a four-hour 'rail roko' demonstration across the country, called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), as part of their agitation against Centre's farm reform laws, in Amritsar district, February 18, 2021. Credit: PTI File Photo

Farmers agitating over the farm laws on Friday penned a ‘letter of anguish’ to President Ram Nath Kovind saying their seven-month protests at the borders of Delhi brought back memories of the Emergency imposed 46 years ago.

“Mr President, for the past seven months the Government of India broke every decorum of democracy to end this farmers’ agitation. The farmers who had come to the national capital to have their voice heard were greeted with roadblocks, dug up roads, use of tear gas, water cannons, false cases, and some of our colleagues were even jailed,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said in a letter to the President.

Also read: India's digital database for farmers stirs fears about privacy, exclusion

The SKM, which has been spearheading the farmers’ protests since November 26 last year, urged the President to direct the Modi government to immediately repeal the three farm laws.

“Whatever we have witnessed in the past seven months reminds us of the Emergency that was imposed upon us 46 years ago. Even today... without declaring Emergency, democracy is being throttled every day,” the SKM said.

Also read: BJP-Congress slugfest on national Emergency anniversary

Various farmers organisations, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the Delhi borders against the three farm laws enacted by the Modi government since November 26 last year.

On Saturday, farmers are planning to gather in huge numbers at the three border sites – Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu – to mark the seventh month of their protests.

The central government has held 11 rounds of talks with the agitating farmers and offered to suspend the three farm laws for 18 months and continue dialogue to address their concerns.

However, farmers have been adamant on the repeal of the three laws and refused to hold a discussion with the government on the merits of the laws.

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