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Farmers hold a day-long fast on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Staging protest for over past two months against Centre’s new farm laws, farmer groups, on January 30, pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by observing ‘Sadbhavna Diwas’ and holding a day-long fast on his 73rd death anniversary. The gesture comes when tension has gripped the protesting sites, governments are trying to quash the protest while violence is used to malign the so far “peaceful” protest over the past week.

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The fast is said to be farmers’ way of reasserting the “peaceful” nature of their protest against Centre’s three contentious agricultural laws passed in September last year.

“We were peaceful yesterday, today and will be peaceful tomorrow also. We invite people of this country to join us in this peaceful protest,” Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal told media on Friday.

The farmers, majorly from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh have been holding protest, demanding the scrapping of farm laws, since November 26 but the so far “peaceful” protest suddenly turned violent from, January 26, after Republic day tractor rally saw clashes through out the Delhi between farmers and police. The violence didn’t stop until a religious flag of Sikh community was hoisted at rampart of Red Fort. This anarchy also killed a farmer, leaving several protestors and police personnel injured.

Since then, farmer protest sites have been witnessing vandalisation, destruction, force used by the police and locals to quash the agitation and vacate the sites, which is further agitating the farmers and disrupting their protest. Moreover, many farmers organisations are also claiming that the violence was induce by the government’s goon to misrepresent the entire agitation and break it up eventually.

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However, it seems the protest has only gained strength now, as many more farmers are reaching out in support and joining them at the many protest venues around the city.

Addressing media at the Delhi-Haryana border point in Singhu on Friday, the farmer leaders slammed the ruling BJP at the Centre, accusing it of trying to “destroy” the “peaceful” agitation.

“The way the government has unsuccessfully tried to spoil the atmosphere on the Ghazipur border and the Singhu border for the past three days proves that the police and BJP-RSS are desperately plotting to kill this movement. Similar unsuccessful attempts were made on the Tikri border too,” a statement issued by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha read.

BJP-ruling states; Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have directed their police officials to vacate the farmer protesting sites, however, it has affected the protest contrary as prominent protest venues; Ghazipur, Singhu, and Tikri, are now receiving more and more protestor.

Meanwhile, in this chaos and mayhem the farmer groups have decided to reassert the nation about their “peaceful” protest by keeping a fast today from 9 am to 5 pm in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, who himself advocated the peaceful protest. They have also appealed to the people of the country to join them.

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“The events on January 30 will be organised to spread the values of truth and non-violence. The way the government is spreading planned lies and violence is condemnable,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha read.

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