Farmers’ body condemns detention of leader en route to Colombia at Delhi airport
Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a collective of farmers’ organisations, on Thursday strongly condemned the brief detention of leader Chaudhary Yudhvir Singh and seven others.
Singh is a national council member of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and national general secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Union, another farmers’ organisation.
Singh was detained for nine hours at Indira Gandhi International Airport around 2 am on November 29 while he was in the process of boarding a flight to Colombia to attend an international agriculture & environment conference.
“Police didn’t tell on what grounds they detained me,” Singh told The New Indian Express.
He further said he has never received any legal notice related to any case where restriction on international travel is mentioned.
“I live in Delhi and conduct different farmers’ meetings around Delhi farmers but I do not understand what made Delhi Police take such a step,” says Singh who heads the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movement. The organisation is a part of the international farmers’ movement group La Via Campesina, spread across 78 countries.
The SKM leaders termed his detention as ‘illegal’ and ‘arbitrary’ and accused the Union government of vindictive action as Singh participated in the historic farmers’ movement at the borders of Delhi in 2020-21.
“Singh’s detention and not allowing him to travel abroad is nothing but vengeance by the government against SKM,” said SKM in a press release. It further stated that the government is hell-bent on suppressing the voice of farmers in the country but its efforts will not succeed.
SKM is a consortium of over 400 farmers' organisations across the country and criticises the Union government for its pro-corporate policy. It was formed after a year-long protest in 2020-21 against three controversial farm laws favouring corporates.
Earlier, SKM leaders campaigned against the incumbent Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Dimni Assembly constituency Morena district (MP) assembly seat for his anti-farmers policy. They urged farmers to ensure the defeat of Tomar.
The SKM accused Tomar of enacting three anti-farmer laws which caused the death of 725 farmers during the 380-day long farmers' protest in 2020-21.