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Section 144 imposed as government head for farmer showdown

The state government has over the last two days arrested scores of All India Kisan Sabha leaders, who are leading the agitation.

jaipur Updated: Feb 21, 2018 22:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,Section 144 imposed,farmer leaders
File photo of farmers’ protest during their Mahapadav (sit-in) in Bikaner.(PTI)

The state government on Wednesday detained several farmer leaders and imposed section 144 in Jaipur ahead of the proposed siege of the assembly by farmers on Thursday over their demand for a complete crop loan waiver.

The government and farmers are headed for a showdown over the crop loan waiver that was announced by chief minister Vasundhara Raje in the budget. Raje announced a one-time crop loan waiver for small and marginal farmers, which left farmers unhappy.

Farmer leader and former CPIM MLA Amraram, who had led an agitation last September and had forced the government to announce that they would set up a committee to study the implementation of crop loan waiver, said that the government has gone back on its word. According to the agreement, the government had agreed to Rs 50,000 crop loan waiver for all farmers.

The state government has over the last two days arrested scores of All India Kisan Sabha leaders, who are leading the agitation. Among those arrested are former MLAs of the CPIM Amraram, Pemaram and Pawan Duggal.

Stringent security has been put in place and police have been deployed said Jaipur commissioner Sanjay Agrawal adding that additional force has also been demanded from the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary.

Agrawal said that the police are prepared to meet any situation and additional forces have been deployed, including RAC personnel. Section 144 imposed in Jaipur commissionerate.

On Wednesday, a dozen farmer leaders were arrested from Khasa Kothi in Jaipur when they were holding a demonstration against the government.

“The government is trying to thwart our agitation by arresting farmers and leaders in all districts so that they are not able to congregate at the assembly on Thursday. They are also not allowing buses ferrying farmers to enter Jaipur,” said AIKS treasurer Gurcharan Singh Mour.

He said that the BJP government has gone back on its promises. The government had promised to waive off Rs 50,000 loan for all farmers, Rs 2000 monthly pension for all farmers above 60 years and take steps to tackle the stray cattle menace. But they have gone back on their word.”

He said that the proposed siege of the assembly on Thursday by farmers will go ahead.

“In a democracy people have a right to protest. But the government’s dictatorial act of arresting farmer leaders will prove to be the last nail in its coffin.”

Sumitra Chopra, Jaipur district secretary of the CPIM said, “Police did not let us agitate peacefully. In a democracy, everyone has a right to speech but the government with its oppressive policy is strangling democracy.

She said they demand the release of their leaders and cases against them be taken back and the government implement the agreement reached with farmers on September 13, 2017.

“History is witness to the fact that when a government intoxicated with power has oppressed farmers and workers, they have been taught a lesson. We strongly condemn the government’s action and call for the release of the arrested leaders,” he said.

“The government should not test our patience,” said Mour.

Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Rameshwar Dudi said the government is working like a dictator. “The government is scared, we will corner the government in the assembly over farmers issues.”

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 22:09 IST