Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws
Farmer protests in India against the 3 controversial farm bills by the Narendra Modi led BJP government have been going on for more than 6 months now. The farmers refused to relent even when the country was going through the devastating second wave of the pandemic citing the example of Shaheen Bagh’s anti-CAA-NRC protests that saw a permanent end after they were requested to postpone due to the pandemic.
“Our farmers are living in tractor trolleys in harsh conditions. The conditions are unhygienic too because one cannot find clean toilets on the roads because of which several farmers picked illnesses and died due to several types of ailments such as cold, heart attack, brain hemorrhage, diabetes and pneumonia. Several lost their lives while travelling on the highways day and night to Singhu and Tikri borders,” said Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh, adding that several of farmers could not get timely medical aid.
According to the data, farmers of every age group — from 18 years to 85 years — have died.
“These are pure murders as the government could have solved the problem within a week of farmers reaching Delhi borders. But the government was indifferent towards its own people,” said Jagmohan, adding that a large number of farmers suffered cardiac arrest due to extreme cold.
Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary, BKU (Ugrahan), said that the government’s cruelty has killed farmers in their 20s and 30s and “we will not let their sacrifice go waste”. “We will continue our battle till our demands are met,” he added.
In mid-May opening a new front against the Centre amid the impasse over the agrarian laws, BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait had hinted at the possibility of a farming strike. According to him, such a harsh step could be taken as the “insensitive” Union government is not concerned about farmers who have hit the streets.
“Defending the gathering of farmers despite the COVID-19 surge, Tikait earlier said, “The farmers’ protest is a parliamentary issue. We will not go back without our demands being met. Delhi is suffering because of COVID and we are helping them. If ending the protest will help to end COVID, we will end it. Give us this guarantee, said Tikait.
The election results of the poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry also gave a fill-up to the anti-farm law stir. Taking to Twitter, the BKU spokesperson had affirmed:
Death Toll at the Protests
Death toll at the protests has been rising since day one and crossed the grim mark of 500 yesterday. Farmers of all age groups have been either dying of the struggle or committing suicide, as has been normalized in the country. Ironical will be too small a word to use for the government that came to power at the back of Farmers, is now looking over 500 farmer deaths due to its lackadaisical approach and insensitive nature.
This grim statistic was marked by the #500DeathsAtFarmersProtest on twitter as people poured in to show support.