JAMMU: Coming forward in support of agitating farmers, various civil society groups, Sikh organisations, and trade unions under the banner of Joint Action Committee on Thursday staged a massive protest demonstration in support of farmers who have been holding protests in five northern states against three farm laws promulgated by central government. Among the organisations that participated were Intellectual Circle J&K, Council for Civil Liberties, Bhim Army, Forum for Peace and Territorial Integrity, IDP (Internationalist Democratic Party), Oil & LPG Trade Union, Employees Trade Union, Ambadkar Yuva Sangathan J&K, Sikh Council, Christian Society of Jammu, USF KMR, Sikh Youths of J&K, and International Gurmat Taksal (IGT).
A large contingent of police had already been deployed near the protest site at Gandhi Nagar and along the Jammu-Lakhanpur national highway to maintain law and order. The police didn’t allow the protesters to march ahead when they tried to block traffic movement on the national highway.
The leaders of the Joint Action Committee addressed the media and said they demand a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws. “We will continue to fight till the farmers get justice,” they said, appealing to all sections of society to support the agitation.
They further demanded that the government should abolish the three “black” farm laws which were against farmers and farm labourers and asked the government to not befool them with rhetoric. “No response has still come from the government,” they said.
Expressing solidarity with farmers, former MP and president of Forum for Peace and Territorial Integrity, Sheikh Abdul Rehman while speaking to Kashmir Reader on the sidelines of the protest demonstration said that several meetings are being conducted in different parts of Jammu region to extend support to farmers who are still on roads in different parts of the country.
“Our demands remain the same since the first day — the laws must be taken back. This is non-negotiable. This protest is by farmers, and it is above any religion. This is becoming a bigger movement and the government needs to listen,” Rehman said.
Internationalist Democratic Party president ID Khajuria extended full support to the farmers and said, “If the government becomes a dictator, then people should come out on the streets. We are here to support our farmers and will stand by them till the end.”
Leaders of Sikh organisations and trade unions cautioned the central government that if it does not immediately revoke the farm laws, it will face even more agitation in the days to come.