A massive protest demonstration was held in Jila Hanumangarh, Rajasthan on February 23, 2018, to protest against the arrest of Kisan leaders, who had been leading the struggle for loan waiver of peasants.
The peasants had planned to gherao the State Assembly building on February 22, to protest against the government for not fulfilling its promise, of waiving the loans of the peasants up to Rs. 50,000 and to press for their other long-standing demands, such as loan waiver, implementation of the Saminathan Commission Report, Rs. 5000 monthly pension for peasants above 60 years of age, etc.
A day prior to the planned gherao, the Rajasthan government had arrested the Kisan leaders, in order to disrupt the agitation.
Demanding the release of their arrested leaders, activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kisan-Mazdoor-Vyapari Sangharsh Samiti, Lok Raj Sangathan, Asinchit Kshetra Sangharsh Samiti and the block Congress Committee jointly organised a public meeting at Bhagat Singh chowk in Nohar tehsil.
The meeting was addressed by the All India Vice President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Comrade Hanuman Prasad Sharma; president of Kisan-Mazdoor-Vyapari Sangharsh Samiti, Madan Beniwal; comrade Suresh Swami of CPM; president of the local Congress Party unit, Sohan Dhill; Rakesh Nehara and Advocate Rajendra Sihag.
Speakers unanimously criticised the Rajasthan government for attacking the agitating peasants and using brute force to crush their struggle. They reaffirmed their resolve to step up the struggle and not be cowed down by the government. They demanded that all the arrested peasant leaders be released unconditionally.
Following the public meeting, the agitating peasants marched through the crowded markets to the Jila headquarters, raising militant slogans all the way. A memorandum addressed to the Governor was submitted by the agitating peasants to the tehsildar, pressing for immediate release of the arrested leaders and the fulfilment of their other long-standing demands. Present on this occasion were Jila Parishad member, Gauri Shankar Thori; ex-President of NDV Chhatra Sangh, Sunita Kaswan; coordinator of Unemployed Teachers’ Federation, Balram Sharma; President of Anaaj Mandi Mazdoor Union, Kaluram Saini and other activists of the area, including Niyamat Ali, Arif Ravan, Subhash Sahu, Rampratap Chimpa, Mohan Chabarwal, Deep Regar, Vinod Soni, Arjun Beniwal, Anil Halu, Pushpa Saini, etc.
The Students Federation of India, Hanumangarh also organised a protest action with the same demands.
The Indian Students Federation, Ramgarh organised a protest action at the sub-tehsil headquarters, where the protestors burnd the effigy of the Chief Minister. Present at this action were AISF Jila coordinator Manoj Sharma, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha Jila Presidents Om Prajapat and other activists of the area including Sandip Dev, Prem Swami, Ajay Sharma, Dinesh Jast, Rajendra Sumit, Vikas, Lovely kumar, Devendra, Vijay, Mangal Sharma, etc.