‘Agrarian Crisis, Assault on Cattle Economy and Lynching of Dalits and Minorities’

National Convention and a Photo Feature on ‘Agrarian Crisis, Assault on Cattle Economy and Lynching of Dalits and Minorities’
NEW DELHI, MARCH 20 : The two days national convention and a photo feature organised by Bhumi Adhikar Andolan on Agrarian Crisis, Assault on Cattle Economy and Lynching of Dalits and Minorities was convened today with a victory note following the long march of farmers in Maharashtra and the acceptance of all their demands which evoked a sense of inspiration and energy among all those gathered in the Speaker Hall at Constitution Club today 20thMarch 2018. The Convention was convened in the context of the growing assault on cattle economy and violent mob attacks on dalits and minorities in the name of ‘cow protection’ that has seriously aggravated agrarian crisis. The plenary session began by paying homage to different people killed by so-called Gaurakshaks and in lynchings. Hannan Mollah, General Secretary of AIKS gave an overview of the agrarian situation and assault on cattle economy. Speakers reinforced their faith that Bhumi Adhikar Andolan played a significant role in preventing the Land Acquisition ordinance from becoming an Act. Similarly the alliance would successfully resist the politically motivated policy of the ruling government of virtual ban on cattle trade which has an impact on overall cattle economy and supplementary sources of income for the farming communities. The first session was moderated by Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary of AIKS and the second session was moderated by Vimal Bhai, a social activist.
In the first session Prem Singh Gehlawat of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha and Jay Karan Singh of Akhil Bharatiya Kisa Khet Mazdoor Sangathan and other social activists from different parts of the country put forward their views. In the session “Know Mewat” Moulana Hanif and Shifat Manager laid out the historical background and present day condition of Mewat region. In the second session Ashok Chauduri of All India Union for Forest Working People, Teesta Setalwad of Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mujahid Nafees of Minority Coordination Comittee, Satyavan Ji of Akhil Bharatia Kisan Khet Mazdur Sangathan, Shiv Narayan ji of Agragami Kisan Sabha, Dayamani Barla of Adivasi Mul Nivasi Asthitwa Raksha Samiti, Prafulla Samantrae of Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Vikash Rawal an economist from JNU and others kept their views.
The fact finding report, prepared by senior advocates of Supreme Court, on the cases of mob lynching in Rajasthan and Haryana was released demanding the immediate arrest of the perpetrators, grant 1 crore as compensation to the victim’s families and allow 25 Lakh to those injured. It was also strongly put to amend the Cow Protection Act to allow purchase of unproductive animals along with ban on all unlawful organization of cow vigilantes.
In the inaugural speech Hannan Mollah stated how BAA was formed as a coalition of various social movements and peoples’ organizations as a resistance to the land ordinance introduced by ruling government and was constituted in 2014.
Family members of victims from across the country shared the account of the incidence and how the BJP ruled state governments had deliberately denied them justice. Azad khan from jharkhand shared that government did not help them and the police also refused to help. They  were also promised compensation which never came. Anita Minjh wife of Ramesh Minjh from Gadhwa district in Jharkhand and father of Riazzuddin, Roham Ali and mother Romena Khatun and father of Abu Hanifa Faizul and mother of Talim also shared their grief. Some family members were so aggrieved that they could not even speak. One of the speakers said that during the rule of Britishers some tribes were seen as criminals, now the state looks at muslims as criminals. When Umar was shot, no FIR was lodged even when his family went to the police thrice. Pehlu khan was transporting milch cows and was beaten to death and his money was snatched from him. Who is the criminal? They asked.
The convention would resume tomorrow in which Medha Patkar, Kancha Iliah, Atul Anjan, and other social activists will address the sessions. Members of parliament and leaders from opposition parties, Sitaram Yechury, Sharad Yadav, Sudhakar Reddy, Manoj Jha, Neeraj Shekhar, Sukhendu Shekhar Rai, Debrat Biswas, and others would also be present for the afternoon session.
Shweta, Krishna Prasad, Madhuresh
Bhumi Adhikar Andolan