No Talks Until Police, Govt Harassment Stops: Samyukt Kisan Morcha
“Talks will be held only after unconditional release of farmers who are in illegal police custody,” the body said.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Tuesday, 2 February said that there can be no “formal” talks with the government until “harassment” by police and administration stops and detained farmers are released, PTI reported.
According to the report, in a statement, SKM alleged that increased barricading, including digging trenches, fixing nails on roads, setting up barbed-wire fences, closing internal roads, stopping Internet services and “orchestrating protests through BJP-RSS workers” are part of “attacks” being organised by the government, its police and administration against the farmers.
The umbrella body of farmers’ unions protesting the Central farm laws termed the “frequent Internet shutdown” at protest sites and blocking of many Twitter accounts related to the farmers movement a “direct attack on democracy”.
“It appears the government is extremely fearful of the rising tide of support for the ongoing protest from different states,” the SKM said.
“The SKM decided in its meeting on Monday that there can be no formal talks with the government until police and administration’s harassment of different kinds against the farmers’ movement is immediately stopped,” PTI quoted the Morcha as saying in its statement.
The SKM also said no formal proposal for talks has been received by it.
“Though no formal proposal for talks came from the government, we clearly state that the talks will be held only after unconditional release of farmers who are in illegal police custody,” the statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an all party meeting on Saturday had said the government’s offer to suspend the farm laws for 18 months was still on the table and the Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar was just a phone call away to take the talks forward.
The farmers’ body had reacted to Modi’s statement by reiterating its demand for repeal of the three agri laws.
On Republic Day, a tractor parade by farmers in the national capital turned chaotic and many protesters were arrested.
The SKM, in a statement, said the Delhi Police has released a list of 122 agitators who have been taken into custody.
It said, “The SKM strongly condemns the arrests and detention of many protestors in different police stations and the seizure of vehicles of farmers. Scores of people are reported to be missing and this is a matter of great concern to us.”
“We demand their immediate release. We also condemn the attacks and arrests on journalists who are continuously covering the movement,” it added, according to the PTI report.
A legal team has been set up by the SKM, with representatives of different organisations, which will systematically pursue the case of those missing, arrested and seized vehicles, the morcha said.
The protesting farmers have declared a nationwide ‘chakka jam’ on highways on 6 February.
(With inputs from PTI)
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