Jammu: Demonstrations and rallies were held across Jammu district on Monday in support of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers to demand repeal of the Centre’s three agri laws.
Led by CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, hundreds of activists and farmers took out a rally and sat on a dharna on the main road here, leading to disruption of traffic.
Addressing the activists, Tarigami said these “anti-farmer” laws are bound to “destroy” the agriculture sector and threaten India’s food security.
“Besides, these laws will lay the basis for abolishment of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and mortgage the country’s agriculture and markets to the corporate sector”, he charged.
Tarigami said the issue of providing fair price for farmers’ produce by ensuring a minimum support price has been a long pending demand of farmers.
“On the one hand, the farmers are facing the brunt of increasing prices of diesel, petrol, fertilisers, other agricultural inputs and their daily necessities, and on the other hand, they are becoming poorer as their income is getting reduced,” he said.
Noting that the “historic struggle” by farmers to demand repeal of the agri-laws and legal guarantee of MSP is still continuing, he charged that the Modi government has refused to engage with these struggling farmers through talks.
The government should immediately start negotiations with farmers to sort out the issue, he demanded.
In Jammu, the demonstrations were organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Kissan Tehreek.
Expressing solidarity with striking farmers, Om Prakash, General Secretary of Centre of Indian Trade Unions, said there was a need to strengthen worker-peasant unity to fight the neo-liberal policies and “attack” on the livelihood of farmers and working class.
A similar demonstration was held in Srinagar where farmer leaders Abdul Rashid Pandit, Gh Qadir Hafroo and Abdul Rashid Itoo demanded minimum support price for farm produce.
They also said that the horticulture sector has totally been neglected by the government though a major chunk of the population is dependent on it.
The issue of fair price for their produce by ensuring a minimum support price for all crops has been a long pending demand. The government must include the horticulture industry in the MSP, they said.
Many non-NDA parties have extended support to the nationwide 10-hour strike on Monday called by farmers protesting against the three agri laws under the aegis of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM).
The government and farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the farmers’ protest.
Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.
The three laws — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 — were passed by Parliament in September last year.