Farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) announced a series of events from October 12, 2021 to October 26, 2021 to condemn the Lakhimpur Kheri killings on October 3.
Stating that the deaths of the farmers will be “a painful chapter in the history of the movement” SKM leader Darshan Pal said, “Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni, whose himself boasts of a criminal image, first threatened farmers of a particular community, then tried to instigate protesting farmers.”
Bharatiya Kisan Union – Ugrahan (BKU-Ugrahan) leader Yogendra Yadav Ugrahan said that the incident has shown that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has turned to violence. “The SKM has decided that it will respond to this violence through a peaceful and democratic mass-movement. A nationwide campaign will be launched against this massacre and the non-satisfactory action by the government,” said Ugrahan.
Accordingly, farmers declared that aside from the Shaheed Kisan Diwas on October 12, a series of demonstrations will be taken up across the country if farmers’ demands are not accepted by October 11.
Right after the mourning on Tuesday, a Shaheed Kisan Yatra will be taken out from Lakhimpur Kheri. The procession will carry the ashes of martyr farmers and carry separate Kalash to hold the ashes of farmers from other districts of Uttar Pradesh and other states.
On October 15, the SKM appealed to farmers and supporters to celebrate Dussehra by burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other local leaders.
If farmer demands remain neglected, protesters will also observe a rail roko on October 18 from 10 AM to 4 PM. Then on October 26, the SKM will organise a Mahapanchayat in Lucknow to protest against the Lakhimpur incident.
“The execution of all these events depends on whether the government accepts farmers’ demands,” said SKM leader Yogendra Yadav stressing that the event on Tuesday will be carried out regardless of government action.
Since the Sunday killings, farmer leaders have made the following demands: dismissal and arrest of Ajay Mishra as the Minister of State for Home Affairs for spreading disharmony, attempting murder; immediate arrest of his son Ashish Mishra (Monu) and his associates like Sumit Jaiswal and Ankit Das.
Shaheed Kisan Diwas
Over the last 10 months, as many as 603 farmers have been martyred in the movement, said All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah. To honour the deceased, farmers have appealed to all to observe prayer or tribute meetings in their area at the local gurudwara, temple, mosque, church or any public place. Citizens were encouraged to participate in candle marches or to light five candles in memory of the five martyrs outside their houses on that evening.
Maharashtra Bharat Bandh
Meanwhile in Mumbai, Maharashtra, the Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM) held a press conference on Friday in preparation of the state-wide Bandh on October 11. The Bandh was called by the ruling party alliance of the Maha Vikas Aghadi. In response to this the SSKM – a coalition of various left organisations, trade unions, women’s groups, student and youth organisations etc. – promised to endorse the Bandh.
“The entire nation stands shocked at the brutal Lakhimpur Kheri murders. Despite the worst provocations, the farmers’ protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful over the course of the last 10 months,” said the SSKM in a joint press release.
Reinforcing the same demands against the Mishra father-son duo, it said that the investigation must be overseen by the judiciary and conducted by a Sitting Judge of the Supreme Court.
Members also pointed out that the state government has also drafted three farm laws that are reminiscent of the three contentious laws at the central level. The SSKM demanded that these drafts should not be tabled for discussion and should be removed.