‘Despite all attempts to quell protest, farmers are standing like a rock’

Members of various organisations observe black day in cities and towns of North Karnataka districts

Responding to a call for observing black day across the country to mark the completion of six months of farmers agitation over the new farm laws and to protest against the Union government’s apathy, various organisations wore a black badges and staged a black flag protest from their respective places in various towns and cities of North Karnataka on Wednesday.

Staging a black badge protest along with a few other members at his residence in Dharwad, president of Citizens For Democracy and Janandolanagala Maha Maitri S.R. Hiremath said that despite all attempts to snub the protest, farmers of the country have stood like a rock in their fight against the Union government to press for their rightful cause.

Members of the Raita Hitarakshana Parivar, led by their convenor Pandurang Neeralakeri, staged a black flag protest in front of Mr. Neeralakeri’s residence in Dharwad. Addressing the protestors, Mr. Neeralakeri said that while on the one side the Union government has utterly failed in managing the pandemic, on the other, it was trying continuously to snub the protest and has been apathetic towards their demands despite hundreds of farmers losing their lives.

In response to the black day call, members of Akhil India Mahila Samskrutika Sanghane (AIMSS), including office-bearers Madhulata Gowdar, Gangubai Kokare and Devamma, and others took part in an online protest from their respective places of residence. They wore black badges, waved black flags, held posters to mark their protest and express solidarity with the protesting farmers in New Delhi.

They condemned the Union government and demanded immediate repeal of the new farm laws, which, they said, were detrimental to the farm sector in the country.

Members of the Raita Krishi Karmikara Sangha, led by Laxman Jadagannavar and others, too took part in an online protest from Dharwad and other villages in the district. They said that the rightful demands of farmers have been totally neglected by the Union government, which was in the clutches of the corporate sector. The new farm laws should be repealed immediately, they demanded.

In Haveri district, members of Students Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) came out to protest in response to the call condemning the mismanagement of COVID-19 and seeking repeal of the new farm laws of the Union government at Haveri, Devihosur, Kurubagond and Halagi. The protestors held a demonstration in front of the SFI office at Shivaji Nagar in Haveri with office-bearers Siddappa Angadi, Arun Arer and others leading the protest. They also burnt the Union government in effigies to register their protest.

Addressing the protestors in Haveri, DYFI State secretary Basavaraj Pujar and SFI’s Basavaraj Bhovi demanded immediate steps to provide necessary food to the needy and medical facilities for COVID-19 patients. They urged the government to immediately repeal the new farm laws and discontinue all anti-labour policies.

In Hubballi, Siddu Teji and others of Kalasa Banduri Raita Horata Samiti submitted a memorandum urging the Prime Minister to repeal the farm laws immediately.

Similar protests were held by members of other organisations and in some places, the office-bearers submitted memoranda to the local authorities.

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