On 24th January Bhiwandi Jan Sangharsh Samiti and Lok Raj Sangathan activists participated in the event to welcome the farmers at Bhiwandi bypass along with a CITU union. About 15000 – 20000 farmers in hundreds of vehicles from Nashik, Nanded and Jalna talukas arrived at Kalyan Bhiwandi bypass junction with flags and banners reiterating their support to the All India Kisan protest demanding the repeal of new Agriculture laws. Thousands of these farmers were on their way to join the historic protest in Azad Maidan of Mumbai organized on 25th and 26th January.
Early morning on 24th, thousands of these farmers marched down the Kasara ghat reviving memories of the historic “long march” from Nashik to Mumbai three years ago. Just like then, this year also the farmers were welcomed with food and other provisions by many unions and organisations. These citizens could see that these brave farmers were fighting not only for their own rights but also for all of us, the consumers.
Later the farmer got onto jeeps and tempos in a colorful Jatha. They were welcomed with food and slogans at many places on the highway. Workers and residents of Bhiwandi, which is an industrial town on the outskirts of Thane had started gathering on the highway at a couple of places since 10 a.m. They waited patiently with various food items and water to welcome their farmer sisters and brothers. They were proudly holding banners declaring their solidarity with the heroic farmers struggle. As soon as the Jatha arrived slogans of “Kale Kanoon Ko Vapas Lo”, “Mazdoor-Kisan Ekta Zindabad”, “Repeal all anti worker, anti farmer, anti people laws”, “Tata-Birla-Ambani-Adani Sarkar murdabad”, “Lal salaam” reverberated in the air, reenergizing the peasants from the Jatha.
On the border of Thane another set of activists of Lok Raj Sangathan and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Maharashtra helped a local Gurudwara to welcome the Jatha and distribute food to them.
The leaders of Kisan Morcha addressed the gatherings. They stated that tens of thousands of farmers are carrying out similar protest demonstrations across various cities Maharashtra, clearly nailing a lie spread by the Central government that only the farmers from Punjab and Haryana are demanding the repeal of laws while rest of the farmers are happy with them. They also thanked workers and citizens who are whole heartedly supporting the struggle.