People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIII

No. 46

November 15, 2009

RAJASTHAN

 

Chakka Jam in 40 Centres for Water

 

Sanjay Mudhar

 

IN about 40 centres spread across three districts of Rajasthan that are covered under the first phase of the Indira Gandhi Canal Project, thousands of farmers recently organised a chakka jam agitation demanding the provision of water and irrigation facilities for agriculture. This is in continuation of the struggles that have been going on under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Vyapari Sangharsh Samiti, centred around the demand for water.

On November 5, at the call given by the Samiti, farmers, agricultural workers and traders in thousands took to the streets and brought to a standstill the three districts, viz Hanumangarh, Sri Ganganagar and Bikaner, from 8 a m in the morning to 5 p m in the evening by blocking all the major roads. The peasantry in the region have been demanding six rounds of water for saving their crops and implementation of the Ajmer Jail agreement arrived at during the tenure of the erstwhile BJP government.

The movement has been continuing from September 2009 --- in Gharsana from September 24, in Anoopgarh from October 22, at Ravatsar from October 23, at Khajuwala from October 19 ---  with thousands of peasants, agricultural workers, workers and traders taking part in them and laying siege (padav) from then on. Under the leadership of the Kisan Mazdoor Vyapari Samitiís convenor, Hetram Beniwal, chakka jam was organised in Sameja Koti, Kheinchia, Salempura, Khokhrawali, Banda colony, Rai Singh Nagar, Anoop Garh, Surat Gorgh, Ghadsana, Patroda, Satrana, Rawla Mandi, Rawla Village, 365 Head, Peeli Banga, Rawatsar, Lunkaransar, Naurangdesar, Khajoowala, 281 Head, Pulia 34 etc.

Along with Hetram Beniwal, other leaders  of the AIKS and other organisations also participated in the agitation. Prominent among them are Pawan Duggal, MLA, Sant Lekha Singh, Hanuman Kadwasara, Lakshman Singh, Gurcharan Moar, Mahendra Tasad, Kalu Thori and Raju Jat.

During this action, the police arrested AIKS district secretary Sheopat Ram and Suneel Godara.