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Bengal: SKM condemns police aggression on Murshidabad farmers.

SKM condemns lathi-charge on Murshidabad farmers in order to forcefully erect Adani Group's high voltage electricity power-line

Sabrangindia 09 Jul 2022

Adani GroupImage Courtesy: telegraphindia.com

On July 6, 2022 farmers body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to stop Adani Group’s grid power-lines project in the Farakka area following alleged police brutality. 

On July 2nd, local police and residents of Dadantola village in Murshidabad district clashed over the installation of high-tension electricity lines. These lines are required to supply power from Godda, Jharkhand’s Adani Group-owned power plant, to Bangladesh as part of a bilateral trade agreement, said The Telegraph. 

However, the farmers claim that they had expressed unwillingness to allow their fruiting trees to be cut. This resulted in clashes wherein seven villagers (mostly farmers) and seven police personnel were injured, said The Telegraph. Further, the villagers also accused the police of lathi-charging. While the SKM claimed that this was as based on orders from ‘higher authorities'. In a press release the SKM said, “The state administration, police force and local political functionaries unleashed a reign of terror in the locality, forcing the menfolk to escape”. 

It further condemned the West Bengal government for “forcefully taking land and right-of-way from farmers, including horticulture farmers” after openly voicing support for the farmers’ struggle. In Murshidabad the corporation is currently trying to chop down mango and litchi trees. Highlighting the corporate-political nexus, which was condemned during the yearlong farmers’ struggle. 

 To look into this, SKM sent its fact-finding team to visit the area and speak to protesting farmers. However, the police prevented them from doing so. “They were virtually under detention and were not permitted to leave their hotel,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal. 

Eventually a police-escorted visit was organised but the team was not allowed to visit the affected villages or meet protesting farmers. The SKM said it has the constitutional and legal right to meet farmers and stand with them. 

“Any government trying to stop SKM from being with farmers is anti-farmer,” said the SKM.  

Accordingly, it demanded that the government cooperate with the national level fact-finding team that the union will send to the affected area. Regarding FIRs against farmers, the SKM demanded that the police withdraw the allegedly false cases and release them from Police or Judicial custody. 

Similarly, Adivasi farmers in the Dhinkia village of Jagatsinghpur, Odisha have also been opposing the developmental project in their area for several years. The farmers in Jagatsinghpur have talked about how their Betel vineyards have been destroyed by their authorities. SKM also voiced its solidarity with the struggle of the Adivasi farmers earlier.    

Related:

Farmers demand answers: What happened to written promises?
After activists, is GoI now targeting farmers?
Lakhimpur Kheri case: Third witness attacked, survives firing by goons
Pan-India farmers protest over attack on Rakesh Tikait!
UP elections: ECI data indicates enthusiastic voter turnout in the farming community
Birbhum: Adivasis opposing coal mining project get support from SKM
Punjab: Farmers begin Lok Kalyan rally

Bengal: SKM condemns police aggression on Murshidabad farmers.

SKM condemns lathi-charge on Murshidabad farmers in order to forcefully erect Adani Group's high voltage electricity power-line

Adani GroupImage Courtesy: telegraphindia.com

On July 6, 2022 farmers body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to stop Adani Group’s grid power-lines project in the Farakka area following alleged police brutality. 

On July 2nd, local police and residents of Dadantola village in Murshidabad district clashed over the installation of high-tension electricity lines. These lines are required to supply power from Godda, Jharkhand’s Adani Group-owned power plant, to Bangladesh as part of a bilateral trade agreement, said The Telegraph. 

However, the farmers claim that they had expressed unwillingness to allow their fruiting trees to be cut. This resulted in clashes wherein seven villagers (mostly farmers) and seven police personnel were injured, said The Telegraph. Further, the villagers also accused the police of lathi-charging. While the SKM claimed that this was as based on orders from ‘higher authorities'. In a press release the SKM said, “The state administration, police force and local political functionaries unleashed a reign of terror in the locality, forcing the menfolk to escape”. 

It further condemned the West Bengal government for “forcefully taking land and right-of-way from farmers, including horticulture farmers” after openly voicing support for the farmers’ struggle. In Murshidabad the corporation is currently trying to chop down mango and litchi trees. Highlighting the corporate-political nexus, which was condemned during the yearlong farmers’ struggle. 

 To look into this, SKM sent its fact-finding team to visit the area and speak to protesting farmers. However, the police prevented them from doing so. “They were virtually under detention and were not permitted to leave their hotel,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal. 

Eventually a police-escorted visit was organised but the team was not allowed to visit the affected villages or meet protesting farmers. The SKM said it has the constitutional and legal right to meet farmers and stand with them. 

“Any government trying to stop SKM from being with farmers is anti-farmer,” said the SKM.  

Accordingly, it demanded that the government cooperate with the national level fact-finding team that the union will send to the affected area. Regarding FIRs against farmers, the SKM demanded that the police withdraw the allegedly false cases and release them from Police or Judicial custody. 

Similarly, Adivasi farmers in the Dhinkia village of Jagatsinghpur, Odisha have also been opposing the developmental project in their area for several years. The farmers in Jagatsinghpur have talked about how their Betel vineyards have been destroyed by their authorities. SKM also voiced its solidarity with the struggle of the Adivasi farmers earlier.    

Related:

Farmers demand answers: What happened to written promises?
After activists, is GoI now targeting farmers?
Lakhimpur Kheri case: Third witness attacked, survives firing by goons
Pan-India farmers protest over attack on Rakesh Tikait!
UP elections: ECI data indicates enthusiastic voter turnout in the farming community
Birbhum: Adivasis opposing coal mining project get support from SKM
Punjab: Farmers begin Lok Kalyan rally

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