Police Lathi-Charge Protestors During ‘Raj Bhavan March’ in Patna

This is the first major agitation started by a non-political unit apart from few supporters of Left parties in Bihar

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The farmers, already huge in numbers, quickly gained strength with every passing minute and broke the barricades between Gandhi Maidan and Dak Bunglow Chowk.
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Hundreds of protesting farmers assembled near the Gandhi Maidan in Bihar’s Patna on Tuesday, 29 December, to begin a march towards the Raj Bhawan in the city.

However, the district administration had placed barricades at the Maidan to block the protestors, who were already camping there for the last few days. Consequently, more barricades were set up to block the farmers’ march from the historic ground, IANS reported.

The police’s bid to halt the march with barricades and batons, however, resulted in a clash with farmers, who broke down the barricades between Gandhi Maidan and Dak Bunglow Chowk.

PTI reported that several people were injured after the police lathi-charged the farmers on Frazer Road, in a bid to disperse them from the area.

This reportedly led to clashes in various parts of the city.

A large number of police personnel were deployed at all roads connecting Gandhi Maidan to Raj Bhawan by the administration of Patna, to stop the farmers’ march.

The farmers, mostly under the umbrella of Kisan MahaSabha, came out to voice their protest against three contentious agriculture laws passed by the BJP government.

Ashok Prasad Singh, General Secretary of the Bihar State Kisan Sabha, said, as per NDTV: "We are here in solidarity with our fellow farmers who are sitting in Delhi for the last 34 days.”

This is the first ever major agitation started by a non-political unit apart from some supporters of Left parties in Bihar, IANS reported. RJD, JAP and Congress parties have previously expressed their solidarity with the farmers.

Sudhakar Mahto, one of the protesting farmers said, as per IANS: "We are only demanding a roll back of the three farm laws passed in Parliament. The NDA government is trying to impose these legislation on farmers. We will not allow that to happen. We will not withdraw the agitation until the Centre rolls back these three laws.”

"We are standing by the farmers agitating at the borders of Delhi. Centre wants to grab lands through these farm laws to benefit corporates,” he added.

Another farmer from the Nalanda district, Ramesh Yadav said, “We have no faith on the Centre’s promises. The intention of the Modi government is not right. They want monopoly in the agriculture sector as well after privatising the Indian Railways, Telecom sector, Aviation sector and other. We will not let that happen.”

"It is not a fight for the rights of farmers only but it is a fight for every poor person, salaried class, middle class, small traders and businessmen. If the NDA government is successful in this, we will face huge consequences in terms of price hike of every commodity and it will subsequently affect other sectors. For example, we are buying wheat at the rate of Rs 35 per kg, which will then be available at Rs 80 to 100 per kg and the price will be controlled by corporates," said Rahul Kumar, another protester of Sampatchak in Patna district.

(With inputs from IANS, NDTV)

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