People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 04, 2007
RAJASTHAN KISAN STRUGGLE
All-India Solidarity Day, February 22
The central Kisan Council (CKC) of All India Kisan Sabha has decided to observe February 22, 2007 as a solidarity day in support of Rajasthan Kisans. The solidarity day will be observed all over the country by holding demonstrations, public meetings and dharnas.
The Loktantrik Adhikar Morcha has decided to conduct a big campaign throughout Rajasthan against the vindictive polices of the state government during January and February 2007, and “Jaipur chalo struggle” culminating in a massive rally on the February 22, 2007 before the Rajasthan state assembly. Preparations are afoot to mobilise people against the repressive policies of the government and make the February 22 programme a big success.
Recently several Left parties and various mass organisations in Rajasthan comprising CITU, AITUC, AIKS, SFI, AISF, AIYF, DYFI, state government employees, Bank and LDC unions, progressive writers, Left-led womens’ organisations, dalit and human rights organisations, university employees, PUCL, legal cells, 30 in all- have formed the Loktantrik Adhikar Morcha (Democratic Righst Forum). They have decided to conduct a big campaign throughout the state to expose the extremely repressive policies adopted by the Vasundhara Raje government and their vile plan to crush peoples democratic movement. It is as if the BJP-led government is aiming to establish an authoritarian state in Rajasthan.
The Loktantrik Morcha has strongly protested against the excesses committed by the police and the paramilitary forces under the orders of chief minister to suppress the movement led by workers, peasants and traders Sangharsh Samiti in the districts of Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh. They were peacefully agitating for implementation of the December 2004 agreement between the Rajasthan state government and the Sangharsh Samiti. The state government was duty bound to provide 58 percent of water from the Indira Gandhi Canal Project for irrigation purposes. The government acting under extraneous pressures, went back from their commitment and took all measures to crush the struggle waged by tens of thousands of workers, kisans and traders by using lathis, teargas, rubber bullets and firing, imposing curfews in the area and arresting and detaining the leading members of the Sangharsh Samiti. Already seven kisan activists have been killed during the last two and a half years, hundreds of demonstrators including women and old people sustained injuries, several were mercilessly beaten up and leaders were arrested out of whom fifty people including leaders like Hethram Bemiwal and Sahabrem Punia have been Languishing in jails for the last three and a half months. Elected panchayat member like Paban Duggal and Balwant Punia were stripped naked, beaten up and humiliated in the police station.
In spite of the agreement reached between the state government and the leaders of the Sangharsh Samiti in Jaipur jail in 2005, that the leaders would be freed and all cases will be withdrawn, the state government reneged on its assurance and not only the leaders have been languishing in different jails, the authorities have registered hundreds of false cases against the people and the police and the civil administration is resorting to extreme harassment to this day.