People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 31, 2006
AIKS Condemns Yavatmal Firing
THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has strongly condemned the police lathicharge and firing against the cotton farmers in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra.
These cotton farmers of Yavatmal were waiting in the mandi for the preceding four to five days to sell their cotton when this barbarity took place. But, the AIKS statement issued by its general secretary K Varadha Rajan on December 10 noted, the Maharashtra government’s officials collided with the private traders and reduced the price in the name of quality, which angered the peasants and some 4000 to 5000 peasants had been protesting this attitude for the preceding two days.
Instead of intervening and settling the issue, however, the Maharashtra administration went in for police lathicharge and firing, wherein one peasant was killed and more than 300 peasants were injured, with three of them including a woman suffering serious injuries. The AIKS noted that though Yavatmal district falls in an area where the maximum number of suicides has taken place, it is a tragedy that this police atrocity has rubbed salt to the injuries characterising the farmers’ life in this area.
Besides an enquiry and action against the culprits, the AIKS statement has also demanded adequate compensation for the peasants. Another demand is of immediate procurement of cotton by the government agencies at the market price.