Farmers in Karnataka protest in solidarity with Delhi counterparts

November 30, 2020 11:48 pm | Updated 11:48 pm IST - Bengaluru

Farmers and Dalit and labour group members protesting in Bengaluru on Monday.

Farmers and Dalit and labour group members protesting in Bengaluru on Monday.

Multiple farmers’ organisations in the State, outraged by the “shabby treatment” meted out to protesting farmers in Delhi, have now threatened to go on a series of strikes in the State from Tuesday.

Aikya Horata, a coalition of farmers, workers and Dalit groups, staged a protest in the city on Monday, expressing solidarity with the farmers in Delhi. The All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) will organise protests in all district centres of the State on Tuesday, for which a host of farmer and labour unions have announced support.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and Hasiru Sene has threatened to block all highways in the State for the next five days and gherao the Vidhana Soudha on December 7, the day the Assembly session begins, demanding that the recent farm reforms Acts be scrapped both at the Centre and the State. The recent amendments to Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1961, and Karnataka APMC Act, 1966, promulgated as Ordinances, are expected to be tabled in the legislature.

“In my 40 years of public life, I have never seen any government that has ill-treated farmers like enemies of the State, deploying paramilitary forces and not allowing us to enter our capital. The use of force and water cannons in a cold wave is inhuman. This is undemocratic and unacceptable,” said G.C. Bayyareddy, convenor of AIKSCC in the State.

Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, State president, KRRS, said, “Anyone who questions the policies are branded anti-national, like the Punjab farmers are being branded Khalistani.”

HDK’s plea

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday urged the Centre to hold talks with farmers, whose protests in Delhi entered fifth day, to allay their suspicion over the new agricultural legislation.

“Otherwise, suspicion among the farmers and people will continue to grow further. The Centre has appealed to protesting farmers to move to Burari Park if they want to hear their problems. But farmers have not accepted this as they view it as a precondition to initiate talks,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said in a tweet. “My sincere suggestion is to hear the grievances of farmers at the place where they are presently located or at a place of their choice.”

In yet another tweet, he said that the issue should be resolved at the earliest in the interest of the health of the farmers, given the harsh Delhi winter and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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