23 Feb 2024

Farmers to Observe 'Black Friday' Today, Nationwide Tractor Marches Scheduled for Feb 26, Declares Rakesh Tikait

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait revealed plans for a "Black Friday" on February 23, organized by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to demand a police case following the tragic death of a young farmer at the Khanauri border. 

Simultaneously, the farmers' collective is set to conduct tractor marches along highways across India on February 26 to underscore their demands.

Tikait, along with various farm leaders representing states such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, made these announcements during the SKM national coordination committee meeting in Chandigarh. The meeting addressed the recent clashes between farmers and police at Shambhu and Khanauri borders in Punjab and Haryana.

Effigies will be burnt

In addition to the planned marches, farm leaders like Balbir Singh Rajewal and Joginder Singh Ugranhan declared their intention to burn effigies of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, and Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Friday as a symbolic protest against the death of 22-year-old farmer Shubhkaran Singh at the Khanauri border.

The leaders are urging the Punjab government to grant martyr status to Shubhkaran and provide Rs 1 crore in financial support to his family.

Bhagwant Singh condemned the incident

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh condemned the incident, vowing stringent action against those responsible. He assured the public that a case would be filed after the post-mortem. The farm leaders also announced plans for a "kisan mahapanchayat" at Ramlila Ground in Delhi on March 14.

It's noteworthy that the SKM, which spearheaded the farmers' agitation on Delhi borders in 2020-21 against the now-repealed three farm laws, is not participating in the "Delhi Chalo" march led by SKM (non-political) leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) leader Sarwan Singh Pandher at the Haryana borders.

Following the death of Shubhkaran on February 21, the farm leaders temporarily paused their "Delhi Chalo" march for two days. An uneasy calm persists at the Shambhu and Khanauri borders, where farmers have been camped since February 13, demanding MSP for crops, farm loan waivers, pension for farmers, the implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations, and various other demands.

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