Skip to main content

Gujarat farmer leaders detained off Gandhi Ashram for holding footmarch to Gandhinagar "without permission"

Sagar Rabari (left) with Alpesh Thakor
By Our Representative
Gujarat police on Friday detained two senior farmers’ leaders, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG) and Alpesh Thakor of the OBC Ekta Manch, along with some of their colleagues soon after they began a 25-km farmers’ footmarch from Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar, the state capital. They were demanding farm loan waiver.
The footmarch, which began at Khet Bhavan near Gandhi Ashram, first went to the Gandhi Ashram, where farmers garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. However, no sooner they moved out of the Gandhi Ashram and proceeded towards Gandhinagar, they were stopped by the cops standing off the Ahmedabad district collector’s office.
The police said the reason for the detention was the organizers did not taken “requisite permission” for taking out the rally. The farmers’ leaders, however, said they were forced to begin moving towards Gandhinagar in a “peaceful rally” because they were “not granted permission, which is “normal in Gujarat today.”
Cops stop the rally
Jayesh Patel, president KSG, said, “The Gujarat police routinely deny permissions, and cracks down on protests in the state, which has become a norm. The voice of dissent in Gujarat is sought to be smothered and democratic rights of people are under stress.”
Giving reason for starting the farmers’ protest rally, Patel said, “The issues of farm distress in Gujarat are multiplying. Farmers are committing suicide, reeling under the enormous burden of nearly two decades of neglect of the farm sector by the ruling dispensation.”
He added, “Instead of addressing their issues and, at the very least, entering into a dialogue with them, the state government is using every repressive tactic at its disposal. The agitation was organized part of series of protest actions – rallies, demonstrations, footmarches – to highlight the pitiful conditions of farmers in the state at various locations in Gujarat.”
On Wednesday, police detained hundreds of farmer-activists across Gujarat after they poured thousands of litres of milk on roads, demanding a waiver of all farmer loans in the state, where essential commodities have seen a sudden spurt in prices. Led by Alpesh Thakor, the agitation was dubbed “Doodhbandi” and “Doodh Roko”. Thakore also heads Kshatriya Thakor Sena.
Thakore and 50 supporters were detained in Ahmedabad after his group blocked roads and poured hundreds of litres of milk on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway, which connects Ahmedabad with the state capital. The agitation was simultaneously held some several other towns.
Women's protest at Gandhi Ashram on July 2
Earlier, On July 2, a group of 100 middle class women led by Hetal Parikh, were denied permission to hold demonstration at two different spots, after which they went and sat on dharna at Gandhi Ashram. Parikh told Counterview, “We wanted to hold peaceful protest against Goods and Services Tax (GST), which has affected women most.”
However, Parikh said, “No sooner we sat in Gandhi Ashram with banners, the police came and dismantled the banners and asked us to go, telling us that if we did not go, we would be detained. We had no other option but to move out.”

Comments

TRENDING

'Draconian' Kerala health law follows WHO diktat: Govt readies to take harsh measures

By Dr Maya Valecha*  The Governor of Kerala has signed the Kerala Public Health Bill, which essentially reverses the people’s campaign in healthcare services in Kerala for decentralisation. The campaign had led to relinquishing of state powers in 1996, resulting in improvement of health parameters in Kerala. Instead, now, enforcement of law through the exercise of power, fines, etc., and the implementation of protocol during the pandemic, are considered of prime importance.

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative  Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Bihar rural women entrepreneurs witness 50% surge in awareness about renewal energy

By Mignonne Dsouza*  An endline survey conducted under the Bolega Bihar initiative revealed a significant increase in awareness of renewable energy among women, rising from 25% to 76% in Nalanda and Gaya. Renu Kumari, a 34-year-old entrepreneur from Nalanda, Bihar, operates a village eatery that serves as the primary source of income for her family, including her husband and five children. However, a significant portion of her profits was being directed toward covering monthly electricity expenses that usually reach Rs 2,000. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Work with Rajasthan's camel herders: German scientist wins World Cookbook Award 2023

By Rosamma Thomas*  Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are the only awards for international food culture. This year, German scientist  Ilse Kohler Rollefson , founder of Camel Charisma, the first of India’s camel dairies, in Pali district of Rajasthan, won the award for her work with camel herders in Rajasthan, and for preparing for the UN International Year of Camelids, 2024. 

Why is electricity tariff going up in India? Who is the beneficiary? A random reflection

By Thomas Franco*  Union Ministry of Power has used its power under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to force States to import coal which has led to an increase in the cost of electricity production and every consumer is paying a higher tariff. In India, almost everybody from farmers to MSMEs are consumers of electricity.

'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

'Pro-corporate agenda': Odisha crackdown on tribal slum dwellers fighting for land rights

By Our Representative  The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as condemning what it calls “brutal repression” on the Adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi in Bhubaneshwar by the Odisha police, has said that the crackdown was against the tribals struggling for land rights in order to “stop the attempts at land-grab by the government.”

Deplorable, influential sections 'still believe' burning coal is essential indefinitely

By Shankar Sharma*  Some of the recent developments in the power sector, as some  recent news items show, should be of massive relevance/ interest to our policy makers in India. Assuming that our authorities are officially mandated/ committed to maintain a holistic approach to the overall welfare of all sections of our society, including the flora, fauna and general environment, these developments/ experiences from different parts of the globe should be clear pointers to the sustainable energy pathways for our people.