Farmers protesting against the Centre’s agricultural laws near Delhi for more than four months will march to the Parliament in May, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a collective of farmers’ unions, said on Wednesday.
The organisation said that it will announce the exact date of the march soon. “Other than farmers and labourers, here women, Dalit-Adivasi-Bahujans, unemployed youth and every section of the society will be part of this march,” Samyukta Kisan Morcha added. “This program will be completely peaceful. People will come in their vehicles from their villages to the borders of Delhi. After this, a Paidal March [march on foot] will be done from the borders of Delhi.”
Farmers leaders are planning to form a committee to manage the situation in case of police action during the march, PTI reported.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha also said that the protestors will block the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway in Haryana for 24 hours on April 10.
“We will be doing this because the government has not been listening to us,” another farmer leader told PTI. “It has been sleeping. This is to wake up the government.”
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha also announced plans to celebrate Baisakhi on Delhi’s borders on April 13 and mark BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary the next day.
Thousands of farmers have camped outside Delhi since November, demanding that the Centre repeal the three laws that open up the country’s agriculture markets to private companies. Farmers fear the policies will make them vulnerable to corporate exploitation and would dismantle the minimum support price regime.
The protest had been peaceful until violence broke out during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on January 26. One person was killed and over 300 police officers injured as a section of protestors broke through barricades and poured into Delhi, clashing with the police who tried to push them back with tear gas and batons. A group of protestors also stormed the Red Fort.
The police clamped down on the protests after the violence. Heavy barricading was done at protest sites and internet services were suspended. Police complaints were filed against farmer leaders and journalists, and hundreds of protestors were arrested.
The protestors had planned a march to the Parliament on Budget Day on February 1, but postponed it view of the January 26 violence.