ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Suppressing Protest

We are witnessing a different “culture of democracy” where the right to protest is increasingly becoming not just an empty notion, in fact, protest itself is being turned into an offence. The recent mass arrest of members and activists of 17 peasant and worker organisations in Punjab as a preventive act of securing the law and order situation is symptomatic of this different “culture of democracy”.

On 6 March, members of these organisations had decided to jam rail traffic under their statewide rail roko agitation to push for acceptance of their long-pending demands. The farmers have been demanding an increase in the minimum support price based on the price index as per the Swaminathan Committee report, more subsidies for the poor and checks on the hike in prices of diesel and other farm inputs. The state government responded with pre-emptive confinement of those involved in the agitation. Early in the day, Punjab police arrested Jagmohan Singh (provincial general secretary, BKU Ekta-dakaunda), Darshan Pal and Satwant Singh Wazidpur, Patiala district, president and secretary of BKU (Ekta-Dakaunda), Darshan Lal, state secretary of Dehati Mazdoor Sabha (CPM Pasla); Ruldu Singh, president of Punjab Khet Union; Harmesh Malri, state president of Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union; Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, state convener of Kisan Sangharsh Committee; Nirbhai Singh Dhudike, Moga president of Kirti Kisan Union; Gurmeet Singh Bakhtupura, AICTU state president and during the day, another 1,353 persons were rounded up.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top