Police firing in Madhya Pradesh: It’s not just "conspiracy" against agriculture, it’s "open war" against farmers

By Jayesh Patel and Sagar Rabari* 
The news of police firing on agitating farmers in Madhya Pradesh has shocked all of us. In an act of defiance the police, acting on political orders, have unleashed violence against farmers agitating about their perilous condition and neglect by the government of their long-standing demands. Their action has resulted in the death of 6 farmers, as per news reports of various national dailies.
Farmers and farmer organisations across Gujarat express their shock and horror at this brutality of the Madhya Pradesh government and condemn this action in the strongest terms. From condoning the criminal acts of ‘non-state’ actors (vigilantes and mobs who lynch people) to state sanctioned violence was but a small step, waiting to happen.
The pro-capitalist policies of the government are the main cause of farmers’ distress in the country. While land, water, forests and coasts can be diverted for industrial purposes without even the mandatory clearances and NPAs and loans and revenue foregone running into thousands of crores of rupees can be ignored, the farmers’ demands for water for irrigation, electricity, fair and remunerative prices for their produce and loan waiver to tide over lean years are met with bullets.
Declining agriculture export and increasing import of agro-produce and higher rates on agro value addition under GST regime are examples of the Government’s intentions to compel farmers to abandon agriculture and hand over natural resources like water and land to big pro government corporate houses.
There are rising instances of the state machinery increasingly resorting to violence and use of fatal force against farmers, this being the latest instance. This is no longer a conspiracy against farmers and agriculture; it is open war against them by the state through its various arms.
Khedut Samaj-Gujarat condemns the government and police of Madhya Pradesh in the strongest terms. They will continue to stand by the agitating farmers of Madhya Pradesh and all and any other states of India.
The farmers of the 68 villages merged into AUDA, under the leadership of Khedut Samaj-Gujarat, were to take out a vehicle – tractor, car, motorcycle – rally. In view of the atrocity on their fellow farmers in Madhya Pradesh and in solidarity with them and their struggle, this programme was altered to include a 2-minute silence to pay homage to the martyrs in Madhya Pradesh. However, and not surprisingly, permission has been denied, yet again, by the authorities.
We request all the farmers’ organizations and other CBOs and NGOs to organize statewide programmes across India to show solidarity with the farmers.
Day after tomorrow, 9th June, the farmers will hold a day-long demonstration and shraddhanjali sabha for the martyrs of the movement in Madhya Pradesh at all the district collector offices across Gujarat after handing over a memorandum demanding justice for the farmers.
Khedut Samaj-Gujarat appeals to all people concerned at the deteriorating state of democracy in the country today and the increasing suppression of people’s voice to join these programmes in large numbers. This is not a political programme or a programme of any particular political party and so people joining are requested to do so without their party’s banners.
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*Khedut Samaj-Gujarat

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