Protesting farmers arrive in Dimapur with message of defiance
Dimapur, Jan. 17 (EMN): Several thousand protestors from Punjab and Haryana have converged in the national capital for the past couple of weeks, rallying against three new farm bills passed in September last year.
The nationwide farmers’ stir has now landed in Dimapur, as the farmers have embarked on a mission to reach out to different parts of the country to spread awareness about the ‘dangers’ of the new farm bills and its apprehension among the farmers.
Since November 26, farmers have been protesting against the recently passed farm bills and the farmers will continue the protest till the government repeals the farm laws. This was asserted by the farmers during a press conference held at Hotel Saramati in Dimapur on January 17.
Two farmers from Punjab and one from Assam reached Nagaland on January 16 to meet farmers in the state and make them aware about the farm laws. During the press conference, one of the farmers from Punjab said that their purpose of touring the country is to create awareness about the farm laws and minimum support price (MSP) ‘since it is very important to know the detail of the bill and the consequences it would create for farmers’.
Manjinder Singh Randhawa, another farmer, said that ‘other states are not voicing against the farm laws as most of the farmers of other states are not aware about the MSP and it is for that sole reason they were touring the country’. Randhawa said that they were not against the Supreme Court and the Constitution of the country but ‘their demand for repealing the farm laws is with the Centre as it has enacted the farm laws, therefore, their fight is with the Central government’.
Randhawa added that ‘only farmers from Punjab and Haryana were getting the MSP and other states do not have mandis; therefore, they do not get the benefit’. During the press conference, the farmers claimed that private players would exploit the farmers under the new farm laws ‘since they are not entitled to pay any taxes’ and added that under the new law, ‘farmers would be compelled to sell their produce at a lesser price’.
One of the farmers from Assam, Abhilash Rajkhowa explained that the government would remove the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) and farmers would not pay any tax ‘but in reality, in the long run government markets will perish and only private markets would take over and exploit the farmers’.
Rajkhowa added that MSP should be legalised all over the country and APMC should be created in all the states across the country so that living standards of the farmer can be raised. At the event, the farmers said that the Central government is ‘not ready’ to repeal the farm laws and is talking about amendments, ‘which the farmers cannot accept.’
It was also informed that they would be proceeding to Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and entire Northeast, after which they would be heading towards South India.