Our farmers cannot be treated like criminals and terrorists: Citizens For Democracy

Haryana government must immediately withdraw the cases filed against the farmers and release all those arrested, demands CFD

Image Courtesy:muslimmirror.com

The farmers’ protest is getting steady support from various groups across regional, political and religious sections as the visuals of the government’s indifference to the voice of lakhs of farmers braving the bitter Delhi cold, are going viral over social media. 

Adding their voice in solidarity with the farmers, the Citizens For Democracy (CFD) has issued a strong statement against the “brutal  reaction” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments both at the Centre, and in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, to the peaceful agitation of the farmers. The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, the alliance of various farmers organisations, had declared their intention of organising their march ‘Delhi Chalo’ to lodge their protest long ago, stated the CFD, adding that the government still “did not take any concrete step to settle the issues involved i.e. the three controversial farm laws.” And when the farmers began their march to Delhi, from various parts of the country on November 26, “the response of the Centre and Haryana Government was of repression.”

The group recalled that the BJP-led government of Haryana sealed the state’s borders, put up barricades, dug the roads in order to prevent the farmers from proceeding to Delhi but the farmers were not deterred. They marched through the barricades, faced water cannons and tear gas, and are now on dharna at Singhu and Tikri areas on the Delhi-Haryana borders. The farmers have said they are prepared for a prolonged protest if needed, and are well equipped with ration for at least six months.

According to the CFD, a team of activists including People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) members visited the Singhu border and found the, around one lakh protesters to be most disciplined. They have rejected the “government’s offer to allow them to stage their protest at Burari ground” and the Haryana Police has booked state Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni and several farmers on attempt to murder, rioting, causing obstruction in government duty and other charges for violations during their “Delhi Chalo” march. Large number of farmers have been arrested.  

The CFD called the Haryana Police’s accusation of attempt to murder against the youth who had turned off a water cannon, a “shameful act”, adding that “no civilized government is expected to treat this way the protesters  who want to exercise their constitutional right in peaceful manner.” The CFD also criticised Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar’s statement alleging that there is ‘Khalistani connection’ in the farmer’s protest as “the most deplorable one.” They remind  Khattar “Punjab has always been at the forefront of the struggle against unjust laws. Jalianwala Bagh episode of 1919  when hundreds of protesters had gathered to challenge the Rowlatt Act and sacrificed their lives is one such example.”

Another “glorious chapter from Punjab is the struggle to oppose the infamous ‘emergency’” recalled the CFD, “when during its 19 months (June 1975 to March 1977) the protesters – Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Christians would gather at Golden Temple in Amritsar every day, would march in procession raising slogans opposing ‘emergency’ laws offering their arrest till the Emergency lasted. It was one of the strongest resistances during the ‘emergency’. To make such remarks as made by Mr. Khattar is the most condemnable attempt to malign the protesters who are  agitating to challenge the laws which they think as totally unjust.”

The Citizens For Democracy (CFD) has urged the Central government to accept farmers’ demands because “the same are legitimate. We also call upon the Haryana government to immediately withdraw the cases filed against the farmers and release all the arrested ones forthwith. Governments should realise that our farmers cannot be treated like criminals and terrorists.”   


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