Skip to main content

Gujarat farmers' leaders arrested ahead of rally to mark high-profile business summit in Gandhinagar

By Our Representative
One day ahead of the high-profile Vibrant Gujarat investors’ summit, the Gujarat government has cracked down on the farmers’ leaders attached a non-political organization, planning to stage a symbolic protest rally in the outskirts of Gandhinagar. Their main demands a sharp increase in the minimum support price for cotton. Cotton prices have become a major cause of contention between the Gujarat government and the farmers, who, according to these leaders, are being forced to sell their price which is Rs 500 less than the input cost per 20 kg.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Sagar Rabari, leader of the Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti, the joint action committee of three farmers’ organizations, formed for the organizing the protest rally, said, the “Gujarat government today held two of Saurashtra’s prominent farmer leaders – Shivlalbhai Vekaria and Chandubhai Shingala – along with many other farmers, into preventive detention.”
According to a spot-survey carried out by representative of the farmers’ organizations attached with the Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti, as against the minimum support price of Rs 800, fixed by the Government of India for a 20-kg cotton bundle, the farmers are being forced to sell their produce in the open market for just Rs 650 or even less. The survey found that the input cost, on the other hand, for producing the cotton is more than Rs 1,150 (click HERE to read).
The state government, apparently, is not taking any chances on the opening day of the summit, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of United Nations secretary-general Ban K-moon, who will be delivering the keynote address. Among others, US secretary of state John Kerry will be present on the occasion, with a likely a defence deal offer with Modi.
Condemning the arrests as “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic”, Rabari said, “Ever since the announcement of the programme of organizing a rally by farmers the central intelligence bureau (IB) and local intelligence bureau (LIB) cops, as also police teams, began constantly tailing leaders of the Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti. It was clearly evident that the state government would take all kinds of undemocratic and repressive measures to stop the farmers from carrying out their programme.”
Asking the “democratically-elected government to repose faith in democracy to let the farmers exercise their democratic right to voice their demands”, and “refrain from creating an environment of fear”, it said, apparently, the state government’s intentions appear different. “Rather than listening to the farmers’ agony and distress”, the statement alleged, the state government is “creating an environment of fear and terror, which cannot take the government very far.”
The statement wondered, “If people cannot take their woes to the government, then where will they go?” It added, “The government must come forward to forge a dialogue with the distressed farmers, otherwise the farmers know how to answer even this repression through democratic means.” It characterized the arrests as an “undemocratic, fascist step”.
The statement warned, “The farmers’ movement is not afraid of the repression. This is a farmers’ movement and not of the politicians. Farmers will reach the venue despite their leaders’ arrest”, suggesting, preparations are in full swing to reach the destination, Adalaj, where the rally is to take place, following which the farmers propose to march towards the place where the Vibrant Gujarat summit is being held – Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.