Srinagar, Dec 14: (GNS) J&K Kissan Tehreek held protest rallies across Jammu and Kashmir on Monday in solidarity with the farmers protesting against “anti-farmer” bills passed by the central government.

The demonstrations were held in Srinagar and Jammu district headquarters; Anantnag, Kulgam, Kathua, Reasi and other areas of J&K, the J&K Kissan Tehreek said in a statement issued to GNS.

While addressing the protest demonstration at Anantnag, General Secretary Kisan Tehreek Ghulam Nabi Malik said these new agriculture laws were passed in the Parliament “in a brazen anti-democratic manner preventing a structured discussion and voting”.

These laws, Malik said, “will threaten India’s food security, destroy Indian agriculture and farmers, lay the basis for abolishment of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets to the caprices of multinational agri-business corporates and domestic corporate”.

 “These bills have pushed the farmers into a critical situation. If the ordinance had been in favour of the farmers the government would have discussed and revealed the contents of the bill to the nation. These Acts will mean complete withdrawal of the Government from procurement and put farmers at the mercy of corporate companies. It is aimed to facilitate profiteering by big players,” he said.

The J&K Kissan Tehreek added, “Modi government is pushing through various neoliberal measures under the guise of the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. All the measures announced under its auspices for agriculture and rural infrastructure have actually given nothing much to the farmers.  The Covid-19 pandemic has become a golden opportunity for the Modi government to push through anti-farmer and anti-worker legislations without any proper parliamentary scrutiny or discussion.”

The Tehreek slammed the BJP government for its “utter disregard for established Parliamentary procedures, federal principles, rights of States and farmers in the manner in which three anti-farmer Ordinances were pushed through without wide consultation”. The protesters warned that their agitations will intensify unless the bills are repealed.

The protesters also said that Jammu and Kashmir administration’s move to retrieve forest land from alleged encroachers is not only dispossessing villagers from land they have been farming for generations, but also thousands of apple trees, too, have been chopped in the process.

 “Even saplings have not been spared. This is unfortunate and must be stopped immediately. The government move was aimed at dispossessing them and attacking their livelihoods,” they said. “The horticulture sector in Kashmir faced economic consequences due to the lockdown imposed after the Centre abrogated Article 370 last August followed by another lockdown in March after Covid19 pandemic.”

The protesters said the real issue which farmers are facing since long is fair price for their produce by ensuring a minimum support price for all crops. “This legitimate demand despite repeated promises/assurances has not been conceded till date,” they said. (GNS)

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