Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday slammed the arrest of farmers in Bhopal when they were on their way to Delhi to protest and demanded that the Madhya Pradesh government release them immediately.
According to farmers’ body Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), around 100 farmers from Karnataka, who were travelling in a train to the national capital to participate in the protest on February 13, were stopped at Bhopal by the state police.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) South India Convenor Shanthakumar, who was also travelling with the group, said “the police stopped us at the Bhopal station, and some of our members were injured.”
Taking to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Siddaramaiah said: “I demand that the Madhya Pradesh government immediately release all the farmers from our state who have been arrested and allow them to participate in the protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi tomorrow. Although it is the government of Madhya Pradesh that has made the arrests, it is clear that the criminal brain behind this act is the central BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The Karnataka CM emphasised that by arresting and intimidating them, the farmers’ struggle cannot be suppressed.
“Such repression might only lead more farmers to take to the streets, but the struggle of the sons and daughters of the soil will not cease. If the Central government truly cares about peace and order, it should immediately meet the demands of the farmers and resolve the issue, rather than repressing and brutalizing them to silence,” he tweeted.
Calling the BJP as anti-farmer, Siddaramaiah alleged that whether it’s at the Centre or in the states, whenever the BJP comes to power, history bears witness that their first act of aggression is against farmers.
“The first time the BJP came to power in Karnataka, farmers asking for fertilizers were ruthlessly shot down by the government led by BS Yediyurappa. Several farmers died due to the violence inflicted on protesting farmers in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh by Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre,” he alleged in his post.
“Looking at the current actions of the Narendra Modi government, it seems their main aim is to intimidate the farmers into submission,” he wrote.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, are marching to the national capital on February 13 to demand a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price for their produce, one of the conditions they had set when they agreed to withdraw their agitation in 2021 against the now-repealed farm bills.
Authorities in Delhi and several states including Haryana have made elaborate arrangements to stop the farmers from reaching Delhi on Tuesday. Per reports, over 50,000 security personnel have been deployed at the borders to maintain law and order.