NEW DELHI: After the success of the farmers’ ‘Long March’ in Maharashtra, the All India Kisan Sabha will now turn its attention to the cattle trade ban and its impact on agricultural incomes.
The AIKS will hold a two-day convention in New Delhi on March 20 and 21, this time, with the aim of pressuring the Centre to withdraw the ban on cattle trade, and put a stop to the rampant instances of mob lynching by alleged ‘gau rakshaks’.
Speaking to TOI, national president of AIKS, Hannan Mollah, said, “Instances of mob lynching of persons involved in cattle trade are not just attacks on minorities but equally on agriculture incomes. About 30% of agriculture incomes depend on cattle. By attempting to ban it in the way the government wants, poor farmers will be hit badly.”
On the opening day of the two-day convention, AIKS will also release a fact-finding report on mob lynchings across the country. The families of Pehlu Khan, the cattle trader in Rajasthan, and Umar Mohammed, the 19-year-old who was heckled and lynched by “right wing groups” on board a train in June 2017 will be in attendance. Mollah said AIKS has the report will be released by former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Apart from farmers, agriculture organisations and activist groups, the kisan sabha has also hosted a separate session for political discussions over mob lynching and cattle trade ban. The AIKS leader said an invite had been extended to all political parties who have worked on farmer issues and who have been fighting mob lynching. Mollah, however, said no formal outreach had been done to the Congress.
“Primarily, we are calling the Left parties, Swaraj India and the Samajwadi Party, among others. While we appreciated Congress’ support to the farmer Long March in Maharashtra, there is little difference between the Congress and BJP when it comes to fending for the rights of farmers in the country,” Mollah said.