Rajasthan: Farmer Leaders Arrested Before Their Protest Against Poor Crop Price
February 22nd, 2018
In an attempt to prevent farmers from protesting in front of the state assembly, Rajasthan police arrested several farmer leaders of All India Kisan Sabha, including three MLAs on February 20.
The crackdown was done ahead of the proposed ‘Mahapadav’ in front of the assembly on February 22 to demand a complete farm loan waiver. The Rajasthan police arrested Vice President and former MLA Amra Ram of the AIKS, ex-MLAs Pema Ram and Pawan Duggal along with 100 others who were marching from across the state to converge in Jaipur for the ‘Mahapadav’.
“On apprehension that farmers can disturb peace during the proposed Mahapadav, hundreds of them were arrested across the state. Some of them have already been sent to judicial custody while the remaining would be produced before the court on Wednesday,” said Additional director general (law and order) NRK Reddy to TOI.
In a statement, AIKS said, “AIKS demands the immediate release of all arrested leaders and activists. The discredited BJP Government is only exposing its fear of the Kisan mobilisation by this act. Democratic protests cannot be stifled by repressive measures.”
The statement also mentioned that after the prolonged protest by farmers in September last year in Sikar district, the Vasundhara Raje government agreed to all 11 demands of farmers which includes loan waiver, grant of remunerative prices, procurement and pension and resolution of stray cattle issue. However, later the government did not fulfil the promise which forced the farmer to mobilise again for an indefinite ‘Madapadav’ from February 22.
On Wednesday, due to the crackdown by the police, Sikar district witnessed a bandh. “We produced them in court which sent them to judicial custody,” said Nitin Deep Blaggan, Additional Commissioner of Police (law and order), Jaipur to TOI.
In the budget session, Raje announced a Rs. 50,000 loan waiver for the farmer but the farmers are saying that this waiver benefited only a few farmers.
However, despite the arrests, the farmers will continue to march to the state capital.