Over 5,00,000 farmers and farm workers held demonstrations at 2,500 locations in 18 States blocking road traffic for 4 hours demanding the repeal of three recently-passed farm legislations by the government, according to a statement from All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which called for the protest.
AIKSCC, a coalition of over 200 farmer groups across the country, said the demonstration was massive in Haryana, Punjab and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. There were protests in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
“The protesting farmers adhered to non-violent civil disobedience throughout the country and despite thousands of locations of protest, not a single untoward incident has been reported. As previously announced, during the blockade, ambulances, vehicles carrying sick persons, petrol and LPG were given free passage,” said the AIKSCC statement.
A large number of farmer organisations which are not affiliated to AIKSCC also came in support of the protest for the first time. Apart from many independent farmer groups from Punjab and Haryana, farmer groups associated with right-wing Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh also joined hands with AIKSCC for the agitation. The decision to hold a joint demonstration was taken on October 27 at a meeting of AIKSCC members and farmer groups in Punjab and Haryana that are protesting against the laws since they were passed.
The widespread protest has busted the Centre’s claim that the protests against the farm laws are confined to a few places, said the AIKSCC.
All India Kisan Sabha, the country’s largest farmer organization and a constituent of AIKSCC, said workers belonging to various trade unions, under the banner of Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, expressed solidarity with farmers and supported their demonstration.
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