Nearly 2,000 farmers assembled at the Freedom Park in Bengaluru, Karnataka on September 21 to protest the recent government changes made in agrarian policies both at the Central and state level.
Farmer protests against the three agriculture Bills that were originally thought to be limited to Haryana and Punjab, have now taken place in Southern cities of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as well.
On Monday, farmers from all over Karnataka arrived at the Bengaluru city railway station and then rallied towards the city park roughly half a kilometre away.
The three Bills refer to the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. On September 20, these legislations had been passed in the Upper House of the Parliament without the required number of votes.
Leaders such as Yogendra Yadav from Swaraj India, and Ashok Dhavale from the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) also attended the Bengaluru event and spoke about the three Bills along with the Weaving Community Forces Land Acquisition Act that dealt specifically with Karnataka.
Member of Swaraj India, Zia Nomani told SabrangIndia that the city saw a wonderful combination of Green (Farmers’ colour) Blue (Dalits’ colour) and Red (Workers’ colour) as people from across Karnataka came to show solidarity with farmers. Women walked barefoot while some men chanted slogans bare-chested.
Nomani said that along with Yadav and Dhavale, 103-year-old freedom fighter H. S. Doreswamy also attended the event and spoke about how these policies threaten to kill farmers’ rights.
On Sunday, huge protests had taken place in Haryana wherein roads had been blocked. Members of the ruling-party’s coalition had joined these protests in solidarity.
A similar protest also took place in Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, Rajasthan prepared for the nation-wide protests planned for September 25 to demonstrate farmers’ continuing agitation against the agriculture policies.
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