Statement of the Lok Raj Sangathan

The Lok Raj Sangathan condemns with great anger the brazen violence and callousness that has led to the deaths of at least 4 protesting farmers and several others in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh on October 3, 2021.  Some of the farmers were run over by an SUV driven, according to reports, by the son of a Union Minister for State.  These deaths are a result of a pre-meditated, cold and callous act of members associated with the ruling party at the Centre as well as in Uttar Pradesh.

It is obvious that the assailant was certain of his impunity and had no regard for human life.  The act was meant to send a signal to the protesting farmers that today the ruling establishment will stop at nothing to continue its pursuit of crushing the struggle of the farmers against the four Farm Acts passed in 2020.  It also sends the signal that there is no room in what is supposedly the world’s largest democracy for any kind of dissent against the policies of the government even if it affects the lives of hundreds of lakhs of persons and their families across the length and breadth of the country.  Furthermore, these events come at a time when it is not just the Government but also the Supreme Court which has been saying that the protests should be called off, and at a time when the Supreme Court itself is mulling whether there are limits to the right to protest.

In view of the above, it may be concluded that the country is heading into a dangerous new phase when all democratic avenues for the people to voice their concerns are being closed off.  It is a phase where a single party is able to carry out legislative and executive actions no matter how unpopular they may be.  It is a phase where all spheres of economic activity are dominated by large monopolies who are expanding into sphere where they have had less of a footprint, including in agriculture, and agro-produce, and control of food.  It is a phase where media is controlled top down by the same interests which today are portraying the people themselves as anti-national!  Such is the absurd situation that has developed in the country.

The UP Government has promised to set up a committee to be headed by a retired judge and has announced ex gratia payment to the survivors of the victims of the tragedy.  These activities are aimed at blunting the edge of the struggle against the Farm Laws.  What is required is a complete repeal of these laws which have been demonstrated as being anti-people.

While calling for the repeal of these laws, the Lok Raj Sangathan extends its sincere condolences to the survivors of the victims of the tragedy.  It is the belief that the best way to honor these martyrs is to continue the struggle for which they have laid down their lives.  In the crucible of this struggle will arise the new India in which the rights of the people will be enshrined, which would guarantee basic rights of livelihood, shelter, education and a secure future, which is at the heart of the struggle of the farmers.

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