People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 19, 2006
against the indifference of the state government towards the crisis in
agricultural sector in Haryana, hundreds of farmers thronged Chandigarh from
various districts on March 9. The demonstrators refused to move when the
agriculture minister was unable to assure the AIKS leadership to settle the
genuine demands despite being convinced of these. The police had put up
barricades all over the place.
the inclement weather, the people decided to stay and sleep on the main road
leading to Haryana assembly. They cooked meals on the road for which they had
come prepared given the insensitive response that was shown during a mass dharna
at Hisar collectorate on February 21. It was at that point only that a decision
was taken to hold a protest march to Chandigarh on March 9. Within a span of
less than two weeks the AIKS state committee leadership made all preparations.
determination of disciplined farmers including a women contingent forced the
chief minister to ultimately yield. He invited the leadership at 8.30 p.m and
discussed the demand charter issue wise. Demands included compensation for the
crop damage caused due to unprecedented frost that occurred during early
January, withdrawal of the water tax instalment that was exempted by previous
Chautala regime, deletion of the clause providing for the arrest and
imprisonment of the debt ‘defaulting’ farmers and agricultural labourers,
changing the arbitrary policy of land acquisition, special development and
relief package for the unirrigated regions, providing ownership rights to
cultivators and farmers who were given lands on lease etc.
chief minister had to agree with these issues and assured the delegation to get
them examined and implemented. The delegation comprising of Phool Singh Sheokand,
Harpal Singh, Ch. Mohar Singh, Dayanand Poonia, Pradeep Singh, Krishan Sarup,
Sampat Kaur and others then placed the outcome of meeting with the chief
minister before the farmers on March 10 morning. The dharna was lifted and gave
a month's time to state government for implementing the promises.
K Shukla, Lehmber Singh Taggar and Interjit Singh also addressed the farmers on
this occasion. Shukla assured that
AIKS, the largest Kisan organisation is staunchly behind the Haryana farmers.
action of AIKS would certainly give a boost in consolidating and expanding the
organisation in Haryana.