AIKSCC TO MARK FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MANDSAUR FARMER KILLINGS:
ANNOUNCES JUNE 6TH AS MANDSAUR SHAHEED KISAN SMRITI DIWAS

New Delhi, May 29th 2018: In continuation with its drive to rally farmers all over the country for securing their basic rights, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) today put out a call for marking the first anniversary of the killing of six farmers in Mandsaur in 2017 as Mandsaur Shaheed Kisan Smriti Diwas. It announced a 3-day programme to mark the occasion, which includes a torch rally (mashaal juloos) in Bhopal on June 4th evening, a commemorative meeting with villagers of Buda village at Mandsaur on June 5th, and a day long fast in Takravat village at Mandsaur on June 6th. The day will be marked with different events in other parts of the country too to protest against the police killing.

“It is totally unacceptable that there has been no concrete action against the police officers responsible for this heinous murder of farmers last year. We demand that there should be murder charges framed against the police personnel responsible for the killing and their immediate arrest. It was in response to the Mandsaur killings that AIKSCC got created as India’s largest joint platform of farmers’ organisations, picking up the two demands that these six Mandsaur martyrs laid down their lives for – guaranteed remunerative prices and freedom from indebtedness”, said AIKSCC members who addressed the media.

The AIKSCC leaders also met the President of India yesterday, presented to him the two bills prepared by the farmers of the country and requested him to call for a special session of the Parliament to discuss the agrarian crisiss and pass these bills.

“The President was positive. In our meeting with the President, we explained to him that this is the very first time in our history that farmers have created two Bills for, by and of farmers, that too after elaborate consultations. We also brought up the fact that there is a precedent with regard to a special session when the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee convened a special session of the Parliament in December 2003 to discuss the sugarcane crisis in the country in the light of the death of 3 sugarcane farmers in Manderva, Basti district of Uttar Pradesh. If we can have a special midnight session for GST, why not for addressing farmers’ crisis?”, said AIKSCC leaders.

The Hon’ble President was forthright in his support to the cause raised by the AIKSCC and said everyone needs to work hard for this.

Briefing the media about the interaction with the President AIKSCC leaders said 21 political parties too have signed their support for the bills and expressed confidence that if the bills come up for debate, they will definitely be passed in both houses.

“We now intend to meet all Members of Parliament in their own constituencies, to ensure their support when the Bills submitted by Shri Raju Shetti in the Lok Sabha and Shri K K Ragesh in the Rajya Sabha get listed for discussion and passing during the upcoming monsoon session”, stated AIKSCC.

AIKSCC was formed on June 16th last year, as a response to the repression of farmers’ spontaneous movements in different states in 2017. AIKSCC has 193 farmers’ organisations associated with it, and has in the recent past secured the support of 21 political parties of the country for the two Bills it created to secure legal rights for farmers for freedom from indebtedness and for guaranteed remunerative prices. After fine tuning the two Bills along with leaders of different political parties in the month of April 2018, the same were submitted as private members bills in both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Parliament. On May 10th 2018 (the beginning of the first war of independence, or Sepoy Mutiny in India), with lakhs of farmers signing on, memoranda addressed to the Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairperson were submitted to district collectors in different states of the country, asking for an early discussion and passing of these Bills.

In the Press Conference, AIKSCC leaders also demanded that input costs in farming should be brought down drastically. They pointed out that rise in diesel prices is breaking the back of farmers. They condemned the brutal and pre-meditated attack of Tamil Nadu police on citizens affected by pollution from Sterlite/Vedanta factory and the killing of innocent protestors. They also condemned the inaction of Uttar Pradesh government in addressing the non-payment of dues owed to cane farmers, which led to the death of a protestor.

AIKSCC also clarified that with regard to media reports about the “village shutdown” or “strike” by farmers, between June 1st and June 10th 2018 in some pockets of the country, it extends its best wishes to any protest movement seeking to secure basic rights for farmers. “However we wish to clarify that this is not a call put out by AIKSCC and we have our plan of action worked out to secure our demands”.

AIKSCC which was formed on June 16, 2017 shall, on the occasion of its first anniversary, hold its General Body meeting on June 16, 2018 at Delhi. Meanwhile to build pressure for passing of these two bills, farmers movements shall be intensified at the district, tehsil and village level.

The Press Conference was addressed by VM Singh, Raju Shetti, Hannan Mollah, Atul Kumar Anjan, Dr. Sunilam, Prem Singh Gehlawat, Jagmohan Singh, Avik Saha and Yogendra Yadav.

VM Singh, Convenor, AIKSCC: 9643026521