New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday clarified that it did not give the 'Delhi Chalo' call for February 13 and strongly condemned the Centre's handling of the protest alleging that an atmosphere of terror is being created to frighten people.
SKM along with the central trade unions (CTUs) has given a call for nationwide strike and rural bandh on February 16. Several other unions and sectoral organisations have supported the call.
The 'Delhi Chalo' call for February 13 has been given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-political), a splinter group of the original SKM, and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha.
SKM expressed anguish over the Narendra Modi government's handling of the protests by erecting iron nails, barbed wires and concrete barricades on the highways in Punjab and Delhi borders.
While clarifying that the 'Delhi Chalo' call for February 13 has not been given by the SKM and it has nothing to do with the protest, the umbrella body of farmers' bodies said the organisations have the right to protest. It is also the responsibility of the Union government to treat such protests in a democratic manner instead of resorting to excessive state repression, it added.
"The administration is imposing section 144 in and around Delhi and Haryana and diverting the traffic without any prior advisory to the public. It is creating an atmosphere of terror to frighten off the people. The Modi government is treating the protesters as if they are enemies of the country," they said.
"SKM urges PM Modi to clarify why his government is not ready for discussion with the platforms of farmers and workers in the context of the countrywide Grameen Bandh and Industrial/ Sectoral Strike call on February 16 on the demands of people's livelihood?" they said.
SKM also condemned the arrest of several activists and farmer leaders from organisations that are part of SKM in Madhya Pradesh.
"SKM reminds Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav that India has a Constitution that enshrines the right to protest for all the citizens. SKM appeals to all the political parties and the class and mass organisations of all sections to condemn this highhandedness by the Modi administration," they said.
In Madhya Pradesh, SKM's five state leaders including Kisan Sabha's Ram Narayan Kuraria, his wife and AIDWA leader Anjana Kuraria, Kisan Sangharsha Samithi's Aradhana Bhargava, BKU (Tikait)'s Anil Yadav and NAPM's Rajkumar Sinha were arrested and jailed under section 151 of CRPC.
Many activists were arrested in various parts of the state.
"The repression by the Union and the state governments under the BJP will be rebuffed by the people. The farmers and workers with the support of all sections of the people will ensure Industrial/ Sectoral Strike and Grameen Bandh is massive, vibrant and successful," they added.