Centre urged to repeal three new farm laws

Members of trade unions and Communist parties take out a rally in Tiruchi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

Trade unions owing allegiance to the two Left parties and farmers associations resorted to road and rail roko agitations across the central region on Monday, urging the Centre to withdraw the three new farm laws. The agitation was also in protest against privatisation of public sector undertakings and to press for other demands.

The protests were organised heeding a Bharat bandh call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to mark the first anniversary of the three controversial farm laws getting the President’s assent. The agitations not only had the support of many Opposition parties but also a section of traders who downed shutters in many places in the central region to extend their solidarity. Normal life, however, remained unaffected as buses were operated.

Over 3,000 members of various trade unions and farmer bodies were arrested in the central region. They urged the Centre not to sell public sector undertakings to private parties; reduce the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas; create job opportunities; and extend the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to urban areas, besides increasing the number of days under the scheme from 100 to 200 and doubling the wages of the labourers. They also wanted the release of all those against whom cases were foisted and imprisoned for their remarks against the union government.

In Tiruchi, around 600 trade union members belonging to the CITU, AITUC, Labour Progressive Front and INTUC, besides a few functionaries of the Makkal Adhikaram were arrested after they attempted to picket the post office at Teppakulam near Main Guard gate. The members marched towards Teppakulam post office from Singarathope when they were arrested as a preventive measure.

The protesters were led by AITUC district secretary K. Suresh; CITU district secretary S. Rengarajan and district secretary of LPF S. Joseph Nelsen. Road blockades were staged at 22 places in the district and 800 persons were arrested.

A group of 21 members of the two Left parties, besides Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi cadre were arrested after they attempted to stage a rail roko agitation at Mutharasanallur near Tiruchi.

In other districts

Rail roko agitations were held at Mayiladuthurai, Thanjavur and Papanasam and other places where the protesters squatted on the tracks leading to their arrest.

In Thanjavur district, similar protests were staged at 27 places - Thanjavur, Kumbakonam and Pattukottai and other places, leading to the arrest of over 1,000 protesters.

In Tiruvarur district, the agitations were held at various places, including Tiruthuraipoondi. Several traders downed shutters to express their solidarity with the protesting trade union members. Some shops and business establishments remained shut in Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts as well. Road roko stirs were held at Sirkali, Sembarnarkoil, and Kollidam in Mayiladuthurai district.

In Pudukottai district, the agitations were organised at 11 places, including Pudukottai, Aranthangi and Alangudi in which around 950 protesters were arrested. Agitations were also held in Karur, Perambalur and Ariyalur districts with the number of those arrested in all the three districts exceeding 700.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 2:04:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/centre-urged-to-repeal-three-new-farm-laws/article36695679.ece

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