New Delhi: Hinting at continuing the protest against the farm laws, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Tuesday said that there can be no “formal” talks with the government until “harassment” by police and administration stops and detained farmers are released. Issuing a statement, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha alleged that increased barricading, including digging trenches, fixing nails on roads, setting up barbed-wire fences, closing internal roads, stopping Internet services and “orchestrating protests through BJP-RSS workers” are part of “attacks” being organised by the government, its police and administration against the farmers. Also Read - 100 Days Or 100 Months: Congress Will Continue To Fight Till Farm Laws Are Rolled Back, Says Priyanka Gandhi
Reacting to Centre’s restrictions, the farmers unions protesting against the Central farm laws termed the “frequent Internet shutdown” at protest sites and blocking of many Twitter accounts related to the farmers movement “direct attack on democracy”. Also Read - After PM Modi's Brigade Rally, BKU Leader Rakesh Tikait To Speak with Bengal Farmers on March 13
“It appears the government is extremely fearful of the rising tide of support for the ongoing protest from different states,” the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said. Also Read - Farmers To Intensify Protest, Major Nationwide Rail Blockade Planned For March 13
On Monday, microblogging site Twitter had blocked several accounts and tweets after the government asked the platform to take action against 250 handles and posts for containing ‘false and provocative content’ related to the ongoing farmers’ agitation, according to sources.
“The SKM decided in its meeting on Monday that there can be no formal talks with the government until police and administration’s harassment of different kinds against the farmers’ movement is immediately stopped,” the SKM said.
On the other hand, the Centre on Tuesday asserted in Lok Sabha that it was ready to discuss issues related to farmers both inside and outside Parliament amid vociferous protests by the Opposition which forced the House to adjourn twice, first for almost an hour and then for nearly two hours.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said during Zero Hour, which began at 5 PM, that the Modi government is always committed to discuss the farmer’s issues.
“The government is ready to discuss issues related to farmers inside and outside Parliament,” he said amid sloganeering by opposition members.
Tomar’s reply came after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that 170 farmers have died during the ongoing agitation against the three contentious farm laws.